California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Systems of oppression give greater social power to some people over others based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other aspects of identity. Working towards a future without sexual violence means that advocates, survivors, and communities need to respond to a complex and layered reality that centers the needs of those survivors most marginalized, silenced, and unseen.

VOICE serves all undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced any form of sexual and relationshiop violence, regardless of when or where the incident occurred. VOICE recognizes that there is not a single path or one-size-fits-all approach toward healing that will best serve all survivors or all members of a community. We also know that sexual violence disproportionally impacts BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities and that individuals from marginalized communities can face different challenges and barriers when choosing to disclose or report sexual violence. VOICE's goal is to educate our campus about the intersectionality of sexual violence and to ensure access to culturally competent support services.

An intersectional approach helps us to recognize that in order to be effective preventing sexual violence, we must challenge racism and other forms of discrimination. VOICE supports survivors from all backgrounds. Some hold many different intersecting identities that this page addresses and others hold identities not listed on this page. If you do not see your identity listed and would like to talk about how sexual violence impacts you, contact a VOICE Advocate. 


Have you experienced sexual violence or have questions related to victim-survivor support, referrals, accommodations, and reporting options and need to speak to a VOICE Advocate?

For confidential support contact us at 404.894.9000 24 hours per day.

Appointments are available for individuals affiliated with Georgia Tech.  

This section was adapted from the University of California Santa Barbara. For more information about intersectionality and sexual violence see these resources or contact VOICE:

BIPOC Survivors

VOICE understands that sexual violence frequently intersects with other forms of oppression experienced by communities of color and that all forms of oppression are interconnected. VOICE works to deconstruct all forms of interpersonal and structural oppression in order to end violence in all its forms in our society. VOICE recognizes that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) survivors may have experienced interpersonal racism with medical providers, police officers, university officials, or other individuals in positions of power as well as institutional racism with educational settings, governmental systems, law enforcement, and the legal system leading to distrust of the institutions that are supposed to assist survivors.  VOICE Advocates are confidential and will not release your information or inform any other office or agency without your explicit consent. VOICE will also honor any survivor’s wishes to not report to systems or offices that feel unsafe and will work with the survivor to choose the resources and options that are right for them.

Each community of color faces challenges and circumstances that are unique to that community, as each BIPOC survivor has their own lived experiences and individual circumstances. VOICE is committed to serving BIPOC communities by providing accessible, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy to all survivors.  Although everyone has their own unique set of identities and experiences, there are some common factors that can create barriers for survivors of color as they seek help.

  • Cultural and/or religious beliefs that send messages to the survivor not to leave an abusive relationship or involve others in personal matters 
  • Cultural and/or religious views about sex, sexual assault, rape, and alcohol/ drug usage that reinforce feelings of self-blame or shame
  • Fear that their experience will negatively reflect on or confirm the stereotypes placed on their community or ethnicity 
  • Intersecting stigmas of homophobia/transphobia, racism, and surviving sexual violence 
  • Strong ties to one’s race, ethnicity, culture, faith and/or family, and concerns that disclosing what happened is a betrayal of one's community or faith
  • Fear of their family finding out about what happened and bringing shame to themselves and their family 
  • The legal or immigration status of the survivor and/or the perpetrator 
  • Lack of access to affordable, accessible, and affirming support from community providers
  • Lack of advocates or counselors who look like the survivor or share common experiences

VOICE understands that finding a support system of people with similar life experiences and backgrounds can play a vital role in a survivor’s healing process. VOICE Advocates work with survivors to provide the best and most culturally supportive assistance as they can and can connect the survivor with additional resources to meet their needs. For more information, see:

LGBTQIA+ Survivors

VOICE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals for LGBTQIA+ students impacted by sexual violence including dating and domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual assault and rape. Sexual violence affects people of every gender identity and sexual orientation. People who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities also experience sexual violence and may face different or additional challenges in accessing legal, medical, law enforcement or other resources. LGBTQIA + survivors may also face intersecting stigmas of homophobia/transphobia, racism, and surviving sexual violence. Norms that support gender inequities, hyper-masculinity, an adherence to traditional gender roles, and a general acceptance of violence not only perpetuate sexual violence but also homophobia and transphobia.

VOICE believes that there is not one resource or path toward healing that will best serve all members of a community. VOICE recognizes the harm that comes from assumptions regarding one's sexual or gender identity and allows for all students to self-identify in all of their identities. LGBTQIA+ survivors may feel that institutions designed to help them are inaccessible due to past experiences of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia from police, courts, medical providers, and even campus resources. VOICE will honor any survivor’s wishes to not report to systems or offices that feel unsafe and will work with the survivor to choose the resources and options that are right for them.

While many aspects of intimate partner violence within LGBTQIA relationships are similar to those experienced by cisgender heterosexual survivors, there are some key differences in the violence enacted against them. Perpetrators often exert power and control in specific ways based on the survivor’s identity and community dynamics. Some forms of abuse an LGBTQIA+ survivor may experience include:

  • Outing/threatening to out around HIV, SM, polyamory, gender identity, sexuality, (dis)ability, immigration status, etc.
  • Isolating from LGBTQ+ social spaces, groups, family, and friends and sabotaging relationships 
  • Using misconceptions about who commits and who experiences intimate partner violence to convince you that no one will believe you due to your gender identity, gender expression, or physical and personal attributes
  • Eroticizing or fetishizing your body without your consent
  • Portraying the violence as mutual or consensual
  • Declaring that you are not a real man/woman
  • Sabotaging your hormone treatments, forcing you to medically transition, or throwing away your clothes or prosthetics
  • Not using your correct pronouns, ridiculing how your body looks, criticizing your gender expression, ridiculing or belittling your identity

VOICE works closely with the LGBTQIA Resource Center in order to be as identity-affirming and supportive as possible. All VOICE staff have gone through Safe Space training, Trans101, and are in the process of completing both Level Ups. VOICE understands that experiences of sexual violence can feel isolating or lead to feeling unsafe, particularly when the survivor and perpetrator of the violence are both in the same community, social circle, or student organizations. VOICE is here to help survivors navigate these circumstances as well. Safety planning resources can be found here. In addition, the LGBTQIA Resource Center is also a Confidential Resource and their staff receive training in the area of sexual violence. For more information about sexual violence and LGBTQIA+ communities, see:

Survivors Who Are Men

VOICE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals to student impacted by any form of sexual violence including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of their age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or the gender of the person responsible for the violence. Men and boys who have who have been sexually assaulted or abused have the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual violence, but they may face other challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.

Some additional challenges that survivors who are men may face include: 

  • Sense of blame or shame over not being able to stop the assault or abuse
  • Feeling emasculated or like "less of a man" than you were or that you no longer have control over your own body
  • Fear of being judged or disbelieved due to misconceptions and stereotypes about who commits and who experiences sexual violence
  • If you experienced an erection or ejaculation during the assault due to your body’s involuntary physiological response, worrying that it indicates consent or pleasure
  • Concerns or questions about sexuality (the gender of your perpetrator has no bearing on your sexuality whatsoever)
  • Feeling you should be able to handle the situation without support

Men who experienced sexual violence as adults or as children can feel very alone and due to this shame and self-doubt be reluctant to seek support. You are not alone. VOICE is here to support you. For additional information about male survivors of sexual violence, see these resources:

International Survivors

VOICE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals for students impacted by any form of sexual violence regardless of when or where the incident occurred. No matter your visa status or location abroad, we are here for you. If you are a student studying at Georgia Tech and experience sexual violence, VOICE is here to assist you in whatever ways you need, from explaining reporting options and US laws, to exploring housing or academic accommodations, to ensure that you are supported as you continue forward at Tech and when returning home. 

As an international student you may feel: 

  • Confused about the US legal system, Georgia Tech processes and options, and your rights as a survivor 
  • A lack of confidence with language proficiency, contributing to feeling like there is no one who can help you 
  • Isolated from your support systems in your home country 
  • Nervous or uncertain that its ok to seek resources due to different cultural norms surrounding what it means to ask for help
  • Concerned about the legal or immigration status of yourself and/or the perpetrator 

It is very common for student survivors of sexual violence to either reduce their course load or take a break from school. International students with student visas should take into account that if they temporarily withdraw or drop below a full-time course load, they must receive approval through the Office of International Students beforehand in order to avoid jeopardizing their status. Find more information about requesting a Medical Reduced Course Load here. VOICE can also help connect you to the Office of International Education and support you with requesting waivers.

Survivors Who Are Studying Abroad

Students studying abroad also face barriers and unfamiliarity with local laws and customs. VOICE is here 24/7 to help you navigate your options and available resources. If you do not have the ability to make international calls, you can schedule a virtual meeting with an advocate or email us to schedule a time to talk. We recommend limiting the information you include in email form so as to protect your privacy. Talk to study abroad staff if you need assistance getting connected to VOICE. Sometimes, students don’t want to talk about an experience with sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking abroad until they return to campus. In this case, know that there are many resources and support services available to you, including VOICE and the Center for Mental Health Care & Resources. Use the contact information in the Get Help Now section on this page. These resources may also be useful:

Survivors with Disabilities

Research has shown that people with disabilities and hard of hearing individuals experience violence at higher rates, and in different ways from their peers without disabilities. It has also shown that people with disabilities and hard of hearing individuals have limited access to vital safety and support services offered by social service organizations and the criminal justice system. VOICE recognizes these differences and is committed to serving people with disabilities by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies. VOICE Advocates will work with you in understanding and accessing the support services you desire. VOICE believes that victim-survivors have the right to choose the services and options that feel best for them. 

VOICE works with the Office of Disability Services (ODOS) to connect student survivors with their services for a wide variety of needs. VOICE is committed to working to improve the accessibility of services for all survivors. VOICE also works directly with the Center for Mental Health Care & Resources to ensure students get support for their mental health needs. For more information, contact VOICE or see these resources:

Graduate Students

VOICE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals for graduate students as well as undergraduate students impacted by any form of sexual violence. Graduate students are unique members of the Tech community who often have dual roles as both a full-time student and a Georgia Tech employee. Because graduate students work very closely with advisors and they depend on faculty and mentors for funding and letters of recommendation, there is a heightened imbalance in power dynamics. This power imbalance makes graduate students particularly vulnerable to sexual violence. In addition, graduate students may feel as though available services are only for undergraduates, or sexual violence is a problem mostly younger people face. In reality, many graduate students experience sexual violence, intimate partner violence and sexual harassment, and there are many services and support systems available to you.

VOICE can help graduate students navigate their academic, research, employment, and financial needs resulting from an experience of sexual violence that either occurred recently or is still causing a disturbance in their academic, personal, or work life.  Spouses of graduate students also have unique needs and concerns and can access confidential support through VOICE. For more information contact VOICE or see these resources:

Friends and Others Supporting a Survivor

VOICE provides confidential support and referrals to students who are impacted by sexual violence, including friends and others supporting a survivor. You may be the first person your friend tells about experiencing sexual violence. Your response plays a critical role in supporting your friend and connecting them to resources and has a long-term impact on healing. When a survivor trusts you enough to tell you about their experience of sexual violence, it is important to support them and their decisions. Often just listening and being non-judgmental are the best ways to support a survivor. 

We encourage all members of a survivor's support system to prioritize their own health during this difficult time. You may experience a range of emotions after learning that your friend or loved one has been hurt. These feelings often include anger, disbelief, pain, sadness, and helplessness.

VOICE is available to help you find resources, as well as to better understand the role you can play in the healing and wellbeing of the victim-survivor. Due to our confidentiality policy, VOICE will not speak directly to a friend or loved one about a specific survivor without that survivor’s explicit consent. VOICE provides general information about how to best support any survivor if a family member or loved one calls with questions.