Sexual Assault Support Services' recognition as a comprehensive anti-sexual violence program is due largely to our skilled volunteers. Volunteers are involved in many capacities within the agency and are provided with a thorough training to prepare them for their chosen responsibilities. As SASS begins to merge with A Safe Place, a domestic violence agency, volunteers moving forward will have the unique opportunity to receive training in domestic and sexual violence advocacy.
Help survivors through the healing process.
As a volunteer advocate you will provide a confidential source of support and information to those affected by sexual and domestic violence through our 24-hour hotline. By listening to the callers needs you will learn how to appropriately support them in a time of crisis and connect them with the resources that best meet their needs. You will also be trained to help identify and examine the options that a survivor has at each of the different stages of healing.
In addition to hotline coverage, you can elect to accompany survivors to the hospital directly after an assault has occurred. If you wish to become a crisis intervention advocate, you are required to take a 32-hour training course to help you prepare for in-person crisis counseling, support and advocacy. You are not required to have any previous training in crisis work, only a strong desire to help those in need of services and a positive attitude.
You are not required to have any previous training in crisis work for either one of these opportunities. Listed below is an outline of what a hotline or hospital advocate would do to support a survivor.
The Roles of an Advocate:
- Empower survivors
- Provide emotional support
- Provide information about referrals when requested or appropriate
- Provide information about options
- Accompany Survivors to hospitals or police stations when requested and when appropriate
Upcoming Volunteer Advocate training: March 2015
Help keep our children safe.
As a volunteer educator you will be working directly with students grades K-12 in both Rockingham and Strafford Counties. You will also have the opportunity to present to adult learners or other community groups. The programs you will present have topics ranging from personal body safety and healthy relationships to images in the media.
Volunteers also spend at least one morning observing presentations prior to presenting material themselves. Volunteers will not be sent into the classroom on their own. SASS programs are designed so that volunteers are accompanied in the classroom by a staff member or experienced volunteer.
It is possible for potential volunteers to observe a presentation in order to decide if they would like to commit to training. Observations are scheduled by simply calling the office and speaking with an Education staff member to set up a date and time.
The topics of training are listed below.
Education Training covers issues such as:
- Understanding the core concepts of our program
- Facilitation skills
- Learning and practicing the activities and scripts used in the schools
- Learning puppeteer skills (for those interested in the elementary program)
- Handling awkward moments in a classroom
- How to respond to a disclosure of sexual abuse
Outreach and Events
Help spread the word.
As an outreach and events volunteer you have the unique opportunity to educate the community about the important work of the agency. Our outreach and events volunteers are so important because you help us become more accessible to the community by informing survivors, partners, friends and family members about our services and the impact of our education program. Outreach volunteers will be provided with training and knowledge about the agency. They may also be asked to help out at major fundraising events, tabling’s, movie screenings, etc.
If talking and connecting with members of the community excites you and you are passionate about building a safe and healthy community, this is the job for you!
Get hands-on experience.
Intern opportunities are available in our Client Service, Education and Prevention or Outreach programs. Completion of the agency's in-house training program and a 2 semester (16 hours per week) commitment is required. If you are interested it is possible to do a shadowing day at SASS to see if it would be a productive placement for your internship. Please contact us with any questions.