Volunteering at Central MN Sexual Assault Center is both a rewarding and challenging way to get experience helping individuals to overcome a crisis in their lives. Volunteering at Central MN Sexual Assault Center will help to build skills for future career choices and give you the satisfaction of helping individuals through a traumatic time in their lives.
Our main volunteer opportunity is on our crisis line, taking phone calls from victims and their support people, responding to local hospitals, and working with law enforcement. There are also opportunities to get involved with community events like Take Back the Night, and to help with fundraising events for Central MN Sexual Assault Center.
Our program does require a 40-hour training that qualifies you as a support counselor on the crisis line.
Our next 40-Hour Sexual Assault Advocacy Training will begin in early 2015. We are now accepting applications for this training! It will consist of Monday evenings and two Saturdays during the day. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or have questions about training, call and talk to Renae for more information at 320-251-4357 or e-mail at email@example.com and fill out the volunteer application at the end of the page!
After completing training, volunteer advocates are required to sign up for a minimum of two volunteer shifts per month, which are overnight and weekends on-call from your home. Volunteer advocates are asked to commit to 10-12 months of service and attend monthly advocate meetings.
How Can I Help?
There are a variety of ways that individuals can get involved with preventing sexual assault and/or helping people who have been victims of sexual assault. The main opportunity is to become a trained volunteer advocate on the Central MN Sexual Assault Center’s 24-hour phone line. That opportunity is listed below. There are also service learning and internship opportunities listed at the end of the page. Please call Central MN Sexual Assault Center for more information on how to get involved.
Volunteer Advocate Position Description
The main role of an advocate is to provide services for sexual assault victims at medical facilities, law enforcement centers, and during court and legal proceedings. Volunteer advocates also answer phone calls on CMSAC’s 24-hour crisis line and provide information, referral, and guidance to victims of sexual assault in the evenings and on weekends. Advocates are required to attend a 40 hour training that qualifies an advocate as a support counselor to the victim and support people who have experienced sexual violence.
Purpose of Position:
Work with system agencies:
- Where to report a sexual assault
- Emergency telephone numbers
- Where to report a case of child sexual abuse
- What happens after a report is made
- Locations and telephone numbers of emergency trauma centers
- Explanation of procedures such as the sexual assault evidence collection kit, STD treatment and victim rights
- What are the next steps in the legal process after a report is made.
Responsibilities and Duties:
- Serve as an advocate for victims/survivors and concerned persons of sexual abuse/assault.
- Serve as first responders for the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center 24-hour crisis line by making a commitment of 2 shifts per month.
- Serve as outreach workers, such as meeting a victim at the hospital or accompanying a victim when reporting to police, or attending a court proceeding.
- Provide accurate information about services, procedures, and resources.
- Provide services needed by victims of sexual assault, which may not be available elsewhere.
The Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center volunteer advocate, under the supervision of the Client Services Coordinator, will be asked to:
- Serve as an on-call phone worker at scheduled times. Volunteer Advocates carry pagers or cell phones and work from home during shifts. Volunteer shifts are either sixteen or twenty-four hours long during the evening and on weekends.
- Be held responsible for notifying the Client Services Coordinator within 24 hours of a call and completing a victim contact sheet on each call received.
- Serve as a resource person in providing victims, family, and friends of victims with accurate information regarding procedures, options, and rights.
- Assist the victim in asserting their rights for adequate, responsive treatment and services from agencies and individuals.
- May assist in other volunteer duties as needed.
- CMSAC requires a one-year commitment to the Center, as well as two volunteer shifts per month.
Sexual Assault Advocacy Trainings are offered throughout the year. Training is a forty-hour time commitment.
Call for more information on Volunteer Advocate Training at 320-251-4357
Download an Application Below, Fill it Out and E-mail it Back to the Sexual Assault Center, ATTN: Renae Lee
Volunteer Advocate Training is available to interested individuals in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Interested individuals will be required to fill out a volunteer application, background check, confidentiality agreement, and complete a pre-interview and post-interview screening before and after training. Interested individuals are also required to buy a training manual, at a cost of $20.00, no individual will be turned away from attending training because of inability to pay.
Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center does accept student interns during Fall, Spring and Summer. All interns are required to have the 40-hour volunteer advocate training completed before starting an internship. CMSAC accepts undergraduate and graduate level interns from areas of study related to the human service fields, including but not limited to social work, human relations, women studies, psychology, counseling, and community health.
Other Service Learning Activities:
Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center does have a variety of other projects that student groups and community members can volunteer for including but not limited to: prevention education, health fairs, safety fairs, family fun events, office work, website maintenance, and fund raising. CMSAC also participates on a number of community councils, and event planning committees. Community members and students are welcome to join and participate in these groups:
- Benton County Violence Prevention Council (must live or work in Benton County): Contact Tamara at 320-251-4357 if interested in more information.
- Take Back the Night Planning Committee: Take Back the Night is an event that takes place in the fall to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and children. To join this committee, contact Tamara Hennes-Vix at Central MN Sexual Assault Center, 320-251-4357.
- Crime Victims Rights Week Planning Committee: Crime Victims Rights Week is an event that takes place every year during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. To join this committee, contact Sandra Kruse at 320-656-3880.
- CMSAC staff conduct regular educational groups with youth in the community. If you are interested in helping co-facilitate an educational group, please contact Dee Sawyer at 320-251-4357.