Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team Advocate
Tirzah Blanche is the Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Advocate for Rape Victim Advocates, where her focus is improving the institutional response to sexual assault survivors. As part of the MDT, she works to increase a trauma-informed understanding of sexual assault victims, develop clear protocol, and increase access to services for survivors and their loved ones. She provides crisis intervention, emotional support, legal advocacy, information and referrals to survivors and their significant others. Tirzah first got involved in RVA’s work while in graduate school as a volunteer medical advocate where she provided over 300 hours on-call for RVA’s partner hospitals. Soon after completing the volunteer training she began working part-time out of RVA’s Central office as the Intake Coordination Intern. Since joining the staff Tirzah has joined the Cook County Sexual Assault Advisory Group Committee and the MDT Steering Committee and has completed the 40-hour Domestic Violence Training in addition to advanced training in legal advocacy. Tirzah has long been committed to feminist social action work. Before moving to Chicago she worked on a reproductive justice campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a Research Assistant in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Tirzah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies from UIC. She is passionate about ending gender-based violence and engaging individuals and communities in the movement to end rape culture.