I want to start by saying there may be many many ways to become a victim advocate. I can only talk about how I and others in my community became victim advocates.
I also want to say that my job can be incredibly rewarding but it is often an under paid, overworked and very draining job that is not for everyone. You must really have a heart for this type of work.
In my experience there are two ways to become a victim advocate.
1. The traditional way (and the way all of my coworkers became victim advocates). Go to college study Social work, psychology or some other social science. Get a job working for a nonprofit organization, government agency or other type of agency.
2. Do what I did and major in Microbiology and some how in a weird twist of fate end up working as a victim advocate. Love your job and wonder why did you major in microbiology?
Yup that's right while in college I majored Microbiology. My goal was to go into some kind of medical research and possibly medical school. I wanted to spend my days in a lab with a microscope curing the diseases of the world....I was very idealistic then.
I loved my major in college and had no doubt about my future but being a poor student in need of money I took a part time night job. The job wasn't bad and I could study when it was slow.
When I was almost done with school they offered me a promotion...despite having no experience because I was just that good or maybe because they were a growing company and desperate I never did figure it out.
Soon I was climbing the corporate ladder and my dreams of curing the world were left behind. The job and company wasn't bad. I got to do a little traveling, honed my managerial skills (my bossy nature came in handy), and the pay was pretty good.
But I hated the job..except the whole bossy thing. I was natural good at my job but it was a chore to get out of bed to go to work. My morning coffee often include a little boost (its shocking I am not drunk...I am drinking a beer as I type right now so the jury may be out on if I am or not).
Then one day I decided I need an adventure. I was tired of being boring and predictable and always doing what was expected of me.
So I did what any girl in need of an adventure does....quit your job and move to Las Vegas. (Don't tell me you never thought about it).
This is getting long.
To be continued...tomorrow.