Volunteer Advocate Program
As a non-profit we depend on the help from our volunteers. Volunteering as an advocate is both a challenging and rewarding way to give back to the community. Your help as a volunteer advocate makes a difference to end sexual violence and support victim/survivors.
Purpose of the Volunteer Advocate Position: The purpose of a trained volunteer advocate is to support and advocate for the rights and self-defined needs of survivors of sexual violence and their friends, families, and other concerned persons. This advocacy is provided on the Central MN Sexual Assault Center’s (CMSAC) 24-hour crisis phone line, as well as in person at area hospitals, law enforcement centers, and other community locations.
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Successfully complete the Minnesota-mandated 40-hour volunteer advocate training (including CMSAC’s pre and post interviews)
- Commit to taking a minimum of two crisis line shifts per month – Volunteer advocates use their personal cell phones and work from home during shifts. Volunteer shifts are either 16 or 24 hours long, and occur during the evenings and on weekends.
- Commit to volunteering as an advocate with CMSAC for a minimum of a 12 month period
- Attend monthly advocate meetings and other specified trainings as advised by the Client Services Coordinator for the purposes of continuing education and case consultation
Responsibilities: The CMSAC volunteer advocate, under the supervision of the Client Services Coordinator, will be asked to:
- serve as a first responder for CMSAC’s 24-hour crisis phone line (calls will be directed by an answering service to your phone)
- provide crisis intervention, support, and sexual violence education to victims and their friends, families, and other concerned persons
- provide victims with accurate information about their medical, law enforcement, and legal options
- accompany victims to local hospitals and law enforcement centers when victims are seeking medical care and criminal justice assistance, and provide support during these proceedings
- help victims assert their rights and advocate for the responsive and trauma-informed treatment of all victims of sexual violence and their friends and families
- work as a team with multidisciplinary professionals, (e.g., law enforcement, medical, and legal personnel) to provide the best care and services possible for victims of sexual violence and their friends and families
- provide resources and referrals, as needed, to survivors of sexual violence, their friends, families, and other concerned persons
- notify the Client Services Coordinator of all crisis line activity, complete appropriate paperwork, and follow other policies and procedures as discussed during training
- assist in other volunteer duties as needed
Reasons to Volunteer as an Advocate:
Volunteering as an advocate is both a challenging and rewarding way to give back to the community. Many of our volunteers have identified that empowering survivors to heal from the crisis of sexual violence is a very fulfilling experience. CMSAC’s volunteer advocacy program will help individuals grow personally and professionally in many ways. Through participation in our volunteer advocate program, individuals will develop and refine:
- crisis intervention skills
- verbal and written communications skills
- skills in working with a team of multi-disciplinary professionals, (e.g., law enforcement, hospital staff, social workers, and other services providers)
- social action skills
- knowledge of all forms of sexual violence
- an understanding of sexual violence as a product of rape culture
The Sexual Assault Advocate certification looks great on a resume too! The skills gained in both the training and practice are transferable skills to any job where you are working with people!
40-Hour Training Information:
40-hour sexual assault advocate training is typically offered by CMSAC twice a year, once in fall and once in the spring, however we are currently developing a primarily online training. The link to the application to become a volunteer advocate is located below and can be submitted at any time. Please contact Bree at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carlee at email@example.com for more information about CMSAC’s volunteer advocate program and for more information about the next 40-hour sexual assault advocacy training.
Please call 320-251-4357 or email Bree at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carlee at email@example.com for more information*
Applications can be submitted to:
Central MN Sexual Assault Center, 15 Riverside Drive NE, St. Cloud, MN 56304
Phone: 320-251-4357/Fax: 320-251-4670