Survivor-Driven, Trauma-Informed, Mobile Advocacy

Survivor-driven, trauma-informed advocacy means working in partnership with survivors. Advocacy is focused on safety and supporting survivors to rebuild control over their lives. Survivors lead the process, choose their own goals, and define what is going to be safer for themselves.


Providing survivor-driven — not program-driven — services is a cornerstone of DVHF.

  • Take some time to review your policies and procedures (shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing) and identify what is driven by program requirements, what is required by funders, and what can change to become survivor-driven.
  • Self-assess your advocacy practices

Housing and program policies and procedures that are survivor-driven:

Mobile advocacy

Mobile advocates meet survivors in the location of their choice. This can be at the park, in a coffee shop, or survivor’s home. It also includes accompanying survivors to housing, employment, and child welfare appointments.

Advocate safety and survivor confidentiality are concerns that may need to be addressed when practicing mobile advocacy. It is important to know that mobile advocacy is not a crisis response.

See what advocates and directors have to say about implementing mobile advocacy.


  • Liability insurance – make sure your insurance covers advocates being out of the office and transporting clients in their own vehicles.
  • Mileage reimbursement – have a mileage reimbursement form that advocates know how to fill out and submit. Make sure you provide reimbursement in a timely manner.
  • Scheduling & communication – have a system set up with advocates and supervisors so staff knows where and how to locate and connect with each other. Allow advocates to set schedules that meet the needs of survivors.
  • Technology – equip advocates with agency computers and cell phones.
  • Staffing patterns – organize your staff so that they are not required to be based in facilities.
  • Hiring and supervision approaches – hire advocates that have the desire and skills to work out of the office and in the community. Establish practices that allow for supervision to occur remotely and flexibly and that trusts and supports advocates to be out of the office.




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