Mariá Balata

Director of Advocacy Services


Mariá Balata is Director of Advocacy Services with Resilience. Since joining the team in 2012, Mariá has directly worked with and supervised the provision of services for nearly 3000 survivors and their loved ones. Today Mariá oversees the largest team at Resilience who walk with survivors navigating legal and medical options in the aftermath of sexual violence. Mariá also works closely with institutions to promote the implementation of survivor-centered practices throughout the Chicago area. Mariá has trained physicians, nurses, sexual assault examiners, mental health providers, prosecutors and law enforcement on the neurobiology of trauma, trauma-informed investigations, crisis intervention, the rights of survivors and supporting LGBTQ+ survivors. Mariá works closely with the IL Coalition Against Sexual Assault to train new advocates and develop legislative initiatives throughout the state. She provides consultation on Chicago’s multidisciplinary team and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s sexual assault advisory group. Mariá’s work is rooted in the belief that survivors deserve choices and are the experts in their healing. In 2018, Mariá was awarded the Non-Profit Young Professional of the year award for her work advocating for survivors. Mariá is committed to ensuring an intersectional approach to trauma-support services and ensuring that queer, transgender, and non-binary survivors and activists are visible and welcomed in our movement. Mariá holds a master’s degree in ethics and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Maria’s offers services in English, Spanish and Portuguese.