Mariá Balata

Advocacy Volunteer Manager


Mariá Balata is the Advocacy Volunteer Manager with Rape Victim Advocates. She oversees the training and supervision of nearly 200 volunteer medical advocates- the largest rape crisis volunteer network in the state. Additionally, Mariá is responsible for managing and implementing the daily functions of the 24-hour crisis response services provided to RVA’s 14 partner hospitals. Within that role she is committed to ensuring each survivor seen in an RVA partner hospital receives prompt, compassionate and comprehensive services by our volunteer advocates. Since joining RVA in 2012, Mariá also served on the advocacy team as a staff medical and legal advocate, where she gained direct experience in helping survivors navigate medical and criminal justice systems. She has used this knowledge to ensure that RVA’s volunteer training effectively prepares volunteers to work with survivors within these systems while balancing an understanding of larger systems of 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.