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CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419
Tina Casey, (908) 527-4346



Elizabeth, NJ -- The Union County Rape Crisis Center seeks volunteer advocates to register for its fall training program beginning in September 2008. Volunteer advocates who complete the 40-hour training become part of the Center’s crisis response team.

The training focuses on sexual trauma, domestic violence, sexual harassment, cultural issues related to sexual abuse, date rape and drugs, and the legal and emotional issues that confront victims.

“Union County’s volunteers are well trained and fully prepared to respond to victims of sexual violence and abuse over the phone on the 24-hour hotline, said Angel Estrada, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “Our volunteers also act as in-person advocates who accompany victims to hospital emergency rooms, police interviews, and courts.”

Starting on September 23, the training sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The last session will be on November 13.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, reside in Union County, and have their own car.

The training sessions will be conducted at the Rape Crisis Center, located in the Union County Ralph Froehlich Public Safety Building, 300 North Avenue East, in Westfield.

Following training, volunteers are asked to commit to one year of service working three shifts per month.

The Union County Rape Crisis Center offers confidential individual and group counseling for victims of sexual assault including incest, and for their families and significant others. In addition to acting as victim advocates, volunteers staff a 24-hour hotline, (908) 233-RAPE (7273).

The Rape Crisis Center is part of the Union County Department of Human Services and has been serving Union County residents since 1984.

To volunteer or for further information, call the Rape Crisis Center, (908) 233-7273.