Talk to someone
You are not alone. Everyone deals with traumatic events differently, but it may be helpful to talk about the experience with someone else. You will not be pressured to make any decisions. Instead, you will be given information and support to help make the right decisions. Merced College students can access free, confidential support resources both on and off campus.
Free and Confidential Support
Free, confidential support is available 24/7 to all Merced College students. A confidential resource is someone who has professional and legal mandates to protect the confidentiality of the information disclosed by a person impacted by sexual misconduct or relationship violence. In other words, these individuals are not required to report what is shared with them to law enforcement.
A sexual violence survivor advocate is available to assist Merced College students, faculty, and staff. Services are free and confidential. The advocate is available 24 hours per week in the Downey LRC (room 205). Students at the Los Banos campus should contact the advocate at 209-756-6446 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for services.
campus advocate email: email@example.com
phone (call or text): 209.756.6446
office location: Downey LRC 205
Tuesday: by appointment only
Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (drop in hours; no appointment necessary)
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a,m. (drop in hours; no appointment necessary)
Friday: by appointment only
If you need help outside of the above hours, please call Valley Crisis Center at (209) 722-4357.
What is the campus advocate?
- Merced College and Valley Crisis Center have partnered to offer sexual violence survivor advocacy services on campus.
- Services are free and confidential. This means your name will not be shared with campus authorities.
- The advocate supports survivors of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and stalking.
- Support is also available for friends, family, and classmates of survivors.
- You will never be required to report to the police or campus authorities, unless you choose to do so.
- Some examples of services include peer counseling, legal assistance, accompaniment to medical exams, and referrals to community resources.
- The advocate is available to all people, regardless of identity or status. Language services can be arranged.
Merced College Student Health Services has personal counselors who are confidential resources. These personal counselors are not required to report what is shared with them to law enforcement unless there is an immediate risk to the campus community. Services available Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm.
Merced College has a partnership with Valley Crisis Center. If you need immediate assistance, after-hours help, or prefer to go off-campus, a Valley Crisis Center advocate is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An advocate is someone who offers information and emotional support and helps find resources. Advocates are confidential resources, which means they will not disclose anything to authorities unless you ask them to. If you choose to report an incident or seek medical care, an advocate can accompany you to the authorities or hospital. VCC provides restraining order support, peer counseling sessions, and emergency safe house options. Services are available in many languages, including Spanish and Hmong.
National Hotlines and Resources
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a confidential hotline available via phone at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
The LGBT National Help Center provides telephone, online chat, and email peer support. They speak with callers of all ages about bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, coming out, relationships, safer sex, and more. They also have a massive resource database for social and support groups, gay-friendly religious organizations, sports, leagues, student groups, and more.
Individuals who are survivors of abuse, family or friends of those impacted, or abusive partners seeking to change can contact the hotline to receive information on resources, safety plans, and how to support those impacted by domestic violence.
Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, the National Human Trafficking Hotline will provide the support you need.