At the Sexual Violence Center, it is our mission to eradicate sexual violence and abuse by:
Challenging the systems and individuals that promote privilege, oppression and domination,
Educating those that will join us as advocates and catalysts for change, and
Supporting those who have been victimized, empowering them to not only survive but thrive, finding power and movement in our collective voices.
Since 1985, the Sexual Violence Center has been serving youth and adult victim/survivors of sexual violence 12 years of age and older. We work in Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties, with services coordinated out of our office in Minneapolis. We will never turn anyone away from service if they live outside of these counties, but can often refer people to a local agency that has connections with more specific resources to help.
Who We Are
At the Sexual Violence Center, all of our services are provided by sexual assault advocates. The role of an advocate is to provide information, offer options and support victims and survivors in their decisions. It is up to you to determine which paths are best to take. You are your own best expert. You possess the power to define your own healing process. The advocate is in the role of facilitator. By sharing knowledge, giving choices, and acting as a liaison to various points in the system, our advocates are here to empower you.
The ultimate goal of a sexual assault advocate is to provide enough support so that eventually you will no longer need the advocate's help. The advocate fosters an environment of independence, so you gain confidence in your choices and begin to trust your own decisions and advocate for yourself.
More and more Minnesotans every year turn to us during one of the worst times in their lives. We meet them with a range of services to get them through the crisis and trauma caused by sexual violence, including:
24-hour crisis support telephone line staffed by our trained advocates,
Individual, in-person counseling giving intensive, directed support to victims and survivors,
Support groups for victims and survivors as well as friends and family of victims,
Crisis support in hospitals: we are there for victims of sexual assault throughout their evidentiary examinations,
Legal advocacies through which we advocate that victim/survivors have the resources they need to file restraining orders, navigate the criminal justice system and get connected to legal representation.
Systems change: We coordinate the Hennepin County SMARTeam and the Carver County SAIC team. These teams bring together members of law enforcement, prosecutors, government agencies and social service agencies who are engaged in supporting people after assault. The teams are charged with improving the criminal justice response and support services available for victims.
Education and Training:
Training for volunteer sexual assault advocates
Three times a year, we offer a 40-hour training that prepares volunteer advocates to provide direct service support to victim/survivors of sexual violence in accordance with Minnesota State Statute §595.02(k). For information about upcoming training opportunities, please email our Sexual Assault Advocacy Program Coordinator, Naomi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training for professionals
SVC provides training on sexual violence to professionals in medical, legal, educational, human service, law enforcement, and correctional facilities. To request a training for professional service providers, please email our Training Coordinator, Christina B., at email@example.com
Education for students
SVC is currently developing REAL TALK, a series of interactive, school-based presentations for students ages 12-22. These presentations are designed to empower young people with the knowledge and skills they need to engage in healthy relationships and create safer communities. To learn more about REAL TALK, click here.
To request a REAL TALK presentation, click here.
For the community
SVC offers educational presentations to the broader community, and we frequently participate in conferences, resource fairs, and public events. To request a community-based presentation or a tabling presence at your event, click here.
If you are looking for support outside of Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties, visit http://rapehelpmn.org/ to find an advocacy service near you.
For more information about statewide and legislative initiatives addressing sexual violence, please refer to the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault at http://www.mncasa.org/.
For more information about statewide and legislative initiatives addressing domestic violence, please refer to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women at http://www.mcbw.org/.
Phone: (612) 871-5100
Amy Daher-Waller, Disabilities Grant Coordinator
(e-mail) amy (telephone) extension 21
Administration and Engagement Coordinator
(telephone) extension 11
Christina Buscko, Training Coordinator
(e-mail) christina (telephone) extension 18
Grace Espinoza, Carver/Scott
(telephone) extension 12
Senior Staff Advocate
(e-mail) kathy (telephone) extension 29
(e-mail) katie (telephone) extension 26
Kristen Houlton Shaw, Executive Director
(e-mail) kristen (telephone) extension 16
Naomi Miezwa, Sexual Assault Advocacy Program Coordinator
(e-mail) naomi (telephone) extension 22
Nicole Weiler, Systems Change Program Coordinator
(e-mail) nicole (telephone) extension 15
Education Program Coordinator
(e-mail) sawyer (telephone) extension 23
We are not able to offer support to victim/survivors of sexual violence via e-mail. Please do not e-mail us confidential information or with any counseling or advocacy requests. Use our crisis line: (612) 871-5111.
all e-mail addresses end in @sexualviolencecenter.org