Danielle Chauvin ’12 knew Olivet College was the place for her immediately when searching for a college to attend. “Olivet College was the perfect place for me. Its idea of Individual and Social Responsibility has always resounded with me,” Chauvin said.
Chauvin instills the Olivet College values of “Be More. Do Good.” to the highest degree in her career as a sexual and domestic assault advocate. She works at the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence located in Okemos. Chauvin previously spent seven years on the front lines at domestic violence shelters, including SIREN/Eaton Shelter in Charlotte and S.A.F.E. Place in Battle Creek; a career path she traces back to her time at Olivet College.
“The sexual assault programs I work with today focus on empowering women, empowering youth and empowering those from the LGBT+ community,” Chauvin said. “Some of the most empowering experiences of my life happened at Olivet College.”
Chauvin first became interested in sexual and domestic assault services during her time as a volunteer at the SIREN Shelter, and she later worked as a social media intern for another organization. Chauvin now sees her volunteer and internship experience while at Olivet College as integral in shaping her career path.
“I am passionate about the work I do for sexual assault survivors in my state because of the prevalence with which it impacts so many people, especially women, but many others are impacted by sexual violence and its ripples,” Chauvin said. “For example, the prevalence of sexual assault is 1 in 5 college women and 1 in 16 college men. About 90% of those assaults on college campuses are unreported.”
Chauvin stressed that no college — whether world-renowned or relatively obscure, a large or small student body, or urban or rural location — is immune from sexual and domestic assault. Odds are, sexual assault has happened, but it has gone unreported.
Chauvin is driven by these unfortunate truths and personal experiences to fight back against this issue. Understanding that reporting resources and support for victims is often unavailable or underrepresented, her goal is to create a better future for today’s generation of college students.
In her role as a sexual and domestic assault advocate, Chauvin creates resources for field workers to share with victims, fields calls on a 24/7 hotline for domestic and sexual violence, and speaks on panels and in classes to spread the importance of advocacy for this issue, something that often brings her to Olivet College. Her work and willingness to help directly aids victims, survivors and those seeking more knowledge on how to prevent sexual and domestic violence.
“Going to Olivet College was really important to me in order to open my eyes and my mind to what is going on in the world, opposed to the narrow view I had from just the experiences of my small town and sheltered upbringing,” Chauvin said. “Being involved in conversations about race, gender and sexuality really helped me to better understand privilege and oppression. The mantra of Individual and Social Responsibility made me want to be the change that I wanted to see in this world.”
The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence runs a statewide hotline for anyone who is being impacted by sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs resources, the 24/7 hotline is available at 1-855-VOICES4.