Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2011

Union County Rape Crisis Center Seeks Volunteers

Union County, NJ – The Union County Rape Crisis Center is seeking volunteers to provide assistance and support to victims of sexual assault. All volunteers receive training that prepares them to help guide a victim through the medical, legal or emotional aftermath of the assault. For information on volunteering, call the Union County Rape Crisis Center at 908-233-7273.

“Victims of sexual assault have more resources at their disposal than in the past, but they still need someone who can help them navigate the system while offering unconditional, strictly confidential support,” said Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “Our volunteers provide a truly unique community service and the Freeholder Board is very proud to support them.”

No previous experience in counseling is necessary. Volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center receive a thorough training course, which qualifies them as state-certified, Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates.

Volunteer Advocates most often provide guidance over the phone. In some cases, the Advocate may accompany a victim to the police station, hospital or courtroom.

“Having someone at your side makes you stronger,” said Scanlon. “It can make all the difference to know that someone cares.”

Advocates may also offer support and guidance to family members, loved ones or friends, if requested by the victim.

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

Interviews for prospective volunteers will be held this summer, and the next training session will begin in September. For more information call the Rape Crisis Center 908-233-7273. More details and personal stories are available at www.unioncountyrapecrisiscenter.blogspot.com.

Photo Caption: Fourteen Union County residents pose for a graduation picture after completing the training to become state-certified Volunteer Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates. As volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center, the Advocates provide guidance and support for victims of sexual assault.

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For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/countyofunionnj

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