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 a confidential resource, which means that they will not report what you share with them to the Title IX Coordinator.

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
Coordinator, Advocacy Services and Sexual Violence Prevention & Education
Alumni Memorial Union, Room 407
(414) 288-5244
Katy worked at a community rape crisis center before coming to Marquette in 2015. She is passionate about creating a environment that is supportive of survivors of violence and educating the campus community on how to prevent violence. She holds a graduate degree in clinical-counseling psychology from Illinois State University and a bachelor’s in psychology from Marquette University. She enjoys reading, Wisconsin summers, and hiking with her partner and dogs.

Kacie OttoKacie Otto
Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist and Victim Advocate
Alumni Memorial Union, Room 407
(414) 288-5244
Kacie Otto is the Violence Prevention Specialist at Marquette University. She studied English at the University of Stevens Point and has a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. If she’s not knitting, sewing, or reading her son a book about feminism, you might find her in a park or thrift shop.

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.

Sofia AscorbeSofia Ascorbe
Assistant Director of the Marquette University Honors Program
Sofia Ascorbe is the Assistant Director of the Marquette University Honors Program. She graduated from Marquette’s Honors Program in 2014 and then from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2017. After obtaining her law license, she spent more than three years practicing law in Milwaukee at Legal Action of Wisconsin, the state’s largest civil legal aid firm. At Legal Action, she focused on consumer and housing law, and later became the Assistant Director of the firm’s Eviction Defense Project which provides free in-court legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction. She is excited to use her prior advocacy experience in her new role at Marquette, and to act as a supportive resource for our community. Sofia is also active in the Milwaukee community beyond Marquette, where she serves on a local non-profit theater board and participates in a Latin American performing arts group.

Jody Jessup-AngerJody Jessup-Anger
Jody Jessup-Anger is department chair and professor of higher education 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 R. Hlavka is an associate professor of criminology and law studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences. Her research and teaching focuses on gender and intersectionality, sexual violence, socio-legal studies, and feminist research methods and ethics. Specifically, her research explores lived experiences of violence and how sexual assault survivors navigate systems. She is a proud first-gen student, teaches sexual violence, juvenile justice, research methods, and transformative justice and has over 15 years working in advocacy services including crisis-line response, group counseling, and peer education.

Samira PayneSamira Payne
Director of Black Student Initiatives
Samira is the Director of Black Student Initiatives in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare and Justice from Marquette University and has also earned master’s degrees in Education Policy and Nonprofit Administration. She has worked as a social worker, teacher, nonprofit director, and higher education professional since graduating from Marquette and is passionate about providing support and advocacy for young people who have experienced trauma. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, crocheting, and knitting.

Hannah PuryearHannah Puryear
Engagement Director, University Advancement
Hannah Puryear is passionate about higher education and student development, serving over 10 years in roles within student affairs and university advancement. Currently, she is an engagement director within the Department of University Advancement where she cultivates meaningful opportunities to identify new and strengthen existing relationships with Marquette alumni, parents, and friends. Prior to this role, Hannah served Marquette students as a hall director supporting the Evans Scholars and university apartments residence communities. Before Marquette, she worked for Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, planning special events and overseeing their student presidential ambassador program. She holds an English and communications degree from The College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN), a master’s degree in College Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University, and a master’s degree in English from Marquette University. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, yoga, reading and travel, along with spending time with her husband, Jon, and two rescue pups, Gwendolyn and Zoey. Hannah is excited to be part of the Advocacy Network and support the Marquette community in this capacity.