Director of Advocacy Services
Mariá Balata is the Director of Advocacy Services with Rape Victim Advocates (RVA). In her current role, Mariá supervises the largest program at RVA, the advocacy team, with 12 staff positions and over 220 volunteer medical advocates. Mariá oversees a team of legal and medical advocates who assist survivors with navigating systems and institutions to access much needed remedies in the aftermath of sexual violence. Since joining RVA in 2012, Mariá has served as staff advocate, where she gained direct experience in helping survivors navigate medical and criminal justice systems. Later, as Volunteer Manager she was responsible for training and managing RVAs volunteer medical advocates and implementing the daily functions of the 24-hour crisis response services provided to RVA’s 14 partner hospital. Mariá uses her prior experience to ensure that RVA effectively prepares our advocates to assist survivors while balancing an understanding of larger systems of privilege and oppression. Beyond advocacy and crisis counseling, Mariá provides content expertise in the area of Queer Survivorship. She chairs ICASA’s LGBTQ caucus and is committed to ensuring that queer, transgender, and non-binary survivors and activists are visible and included in our movement. Mariá holds a Master’s degree in Ethics and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Mariá is able to offer services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.