Sarah Layden

Director of Advocacy Services & Interim Executive Director


Sarah Layden is the Director of Advocacy Services with Rape Victim Advocates.  In her role as Director of Advocacy Services, Sarah supervises 8 direct service Legal/Medical advocates, a RVA’s Advocacy Volunteer Manager and our 24-hour hospital crisis support program (which consists of nearly 180 volunteer advocates).  Since joining RVA in 2008, Sarah has directly worked with and supervised the provision of advocacy services for over 2000 survivors. She is a sought after trainer, who has personally facilitated and ensured the training of nearly 2500 law enforcement officers and prosecutors on issues related to working with sexual assault and abuse survivors.  In addition, she has also overseen the training of more than 1,500 medical professionals in RVA’s 14 partner hospitals.  In 2014, Sarah co-authored RVA’s first training supplement for hospital emergency room staff.  In recognition of her work on behalf of survivors of sexual violence, Sarah was chosen as a recipient for the 2010 Cook County State’s Attorney Office Victim Services Award and has been featured on CBS and NBC local and national news.  Sarah co-chairs the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Public Affairs Committee and is an active member of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Advisory Group, as well as the Attorney Generals Task Force on Improving the Investigation and Prosecution of Sex Crimes.  She attended the University of Illinois in Chicago where she earned a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice and is a current student at DePaul University College of Law.  She has completed 40 hour Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training for adults and pediatrics , 40 hour domestic violence training and advanced training on victim advocacy, stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence.  She is committed to ensuring survivors have a voice within the institutions they choose to access for support and justice.