PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 17, 2017

Union County is offering a free training course for persons interested in volunteering with the Union County Rape Crisis Center. Specialized training is available to become part of a volunteer community of trained advocates who provide crisis and support services to victims of sexual violence and their significant others.

The Rape Crisis Center has been offering guidance and support to victims of sexual violence since 1984, as a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Department of Human Services.

“Volunteer Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates are crucial to the work of the Rape Crisis Center. Sexual violence impacts not only the victim, but also those surrounding them. Our volunteer advocates help restore a sense of community to Union County residents facing a life crisis,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

Union County Rape Crisis Center’s free training program for volunteer Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates begins Tuesday, August 15th and will conclude Thursday, September 28th.  Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the RCC office in Westfield located within the Colleen Fraser county services building, 300 North Avenue East.

The training course qualifies volunteers to be Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates, who answer phone calls to Union County’s Rape Crisis Hotline and offer in-person support.

No previous experience in counseling, law or medicine is required to become an Advocate. Volunteers must be Union County residents at least 18 years of age. They must hold a valid driver’s license and have their own vehicle.

The training course includes sessions on crisis counseling, and medical and legal accompaniment in a supportive, empathetic environment.

All sessions take place at the Rape Crisis Center office in the Colleen Fraser county services building at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield. Prospective volunteers will also come to the Westfield office for an informal interview prior to undertaking the training course.

To learn more about volunteering and get information about the next training course, call the Rape Crisis Center at 908-233-7273 or email rcc@ucnj.org.

For more details about the Rape Crisis Center, including personal stories by volunteers, visit the Rape Crisis Center blog at unioncountyrapecrisiscenter.blogspot.com.

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