Advocacy Services

COVID-19 Update

We know that social distancing and working or learning remotely can raise additional challenges for members of our community who have been impacted by harassment or violence.  Supportive resources and options remain available to those who need them.  Advocates are available to provide support remotely and can be reached anytime (available 24-7) at (414) 288-5244 or (emails responded to during business hours).

A university sexual violence victim advocate is available to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance for victims of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking or sexual harassment. The advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are just a phone call or an email away. Advocacy services is able to keep almost everything you share with them private but not completely confidential. They are mandated to report to the Title IX Coordinator when sexual violence, stalking, sexual harassment or relationship violence has occurred.

The victim advocate can be reached by calling (414) 288-5244 or by emailing

Advocacy Services can provide the following services:

  • Referrals to university and community support, and counseling services.
  • Accompany a victim to the hospital or other medical providers.
  • Assistance with housing, academic and other concerns.
  • Assist in creating a safety plan, including helping to obtain a restraining order or university Stay Away Directive.
  • Information about the university’s Title IX policy, reporting and complaint process.
  • Information about and assistance with filing a criminal complaint with the police or taking other legal action.
  • Assistance and support throughout the criminal justice or university complaint process including escorts to all necessary appointments and court proceedings.

Advocacy Services will provide support and assistance to victims regardless of whether the victim chooses to file a formal report with law enforcement or pursue a complaint through the university’s Title IX complaint process. Victims will remain in control of all decisions that are made about their healing process and courses of action.

University Victim Advocates

Katy AdlerKaty Adler
Alumni Memorial Union, Room 437
(414) 288-5244

Kacie OttoKacie Otto
Alumni Memorial Union, Room 437
(414) 288-5244

Advocacy Network

The Advocacy Network consists of Marquette faculty and staff members who have been specially trained to provide support and assistance to members of the Marquette community who have experienced sexual misconduct. This team supports the 24/7 on-call Advocacy Services response. Learn more.

Jody Jessup-AngerJody Jessup-Anger
Jody Jessup-Anger is an associate professor of higher education and coordinator of the Student Affairs in Higher Education master’s program in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership. In 2018, she co-edited Addressing Sexual Violence in Higher Education and Student Affairs, a special volume of New Directions for Student Services. Prior to joining the faculty, she spent 10 years as a student affairs administrator, working primarily in gender education and victim services.

Heather HlavkaHeather Hlavka
Heather Hlavka is an associate professor of criminology and law studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences. Her research and teaching focuses on sexual violence, gender, punishment and law. Specifically, her research explores youth experiences of violence and how sexual assault victims navigate the criminal justice system. She has over ten years working in victim services including crisis-line response, group counseling, and peer education.

Dani CastilloDani Castillo
Dani is an Office Associate in the Opus College of Engineering and a 2014 graduate of Arts & Sciences. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Education at Marquette and enjoys spending whatever free time she has left with her 3 dogs: Watson, Finnegan and Ellie.

Sara SmithSara Smith
In addition to being an advocate, Sara oversees the Student Wellness Center located in the 707 Building on the first floor, working with an amazing team of wellness peer educators. Sara’s professional interests include alcohol and drug prevention, bystander intervention, and holistic well-being. Sara’s hobbies beyond Marquette include gardening, swimming, cooking, hiking, and traveling. One of Sara’s goals is to visit every state park in Wisconsin!

Laiya Thomas
Laiya Thomas has worked at Marquette University for ten years where she serves as the Assistant Director of Student Support Services in the Educational Opportunity Program. In this role, she works closely with first generation students; helping them achieve their academic goals. She resides in Milwaukee with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending church, reading, and watching documentaries.