24-Hour Hotline: 434-977-7273
Hotline Disclosure

Office: 434-295-7273

Charlottesville, Virginia

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Volunteers play a vital role in SARA’s mission to educate our community and assist and empower people who have experienced sexual violence. SARA seeks community members to join our team as Volunteer Hotline Advocates or Community Outreach Volunteers.

Volunteer Hotline Advocates

SARA could not provide caring, supportive and dependable 24/7 Hotline service to the community without its committed and compassionate Hotline Volunteers. Our well-trained volunteers provide information, referrals and crisis intervention to survivors and their families and supporters on SARA’s 24-hour hotline. 




Classes will take place on the following dates at the SARA Office:

  • SATURDAY, January 19th, 2019 from 10a-2p
  • SATURDAY, January 26th, 2019 from 10a-2p
  • TUESDAY, January 29th, 2019 from 6p-9p
  • TUESDAY, February 5th, 2019 from 6p-9p
  • SATURDAY, February 9th, 2019 from 10a-2p
  • SATURDAY, February 16th, 2019 from 10a-2p

Additional training, including webinars and readings, will be required to be completed outside of the class times.

All applications for this cohort are due by Friday, January 4th.  Please be patient as we process all submitted applications. We will contact you beginning in late December or early January if we would like to interview you.


Fill out an online application form HERE.

You will not receive an e-mail confirmation. If you’d like to make sure that your application has been received or for other questions, contact Lexie Groves, Crisis Services Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


SARA operates a 24-hour hotline that responded to over 500 calls in 2017. Our volunteers are a valued and integral part of the work we do. In order to provide the best service to our clients, there is a mandatory interviewing, reference-checking, and training process for all incoming volunteers.

Here is the typical time-line for a Hotline Volunteer:

  • Applications Due: January 4th, 2019
  • Interviews and Reference Checks: January 7th-10th, 2019
  • Acceptance into training cohort: January 11th, 2019
  • Training: 22 In-Person Hours and 10-15 “homework” hours from January 19th-Feburary 16th, 2019
  • Minimum volunteer commitment: 24 Hours/month, which immediately follows completion of training. Potential 6- or 12-hour shift blocks are available from 7p-9a weekdays and anytime on weekends and holidays. Shift availability is dependent on holes within our current schedule but is usually flexible.  Hotline volunteers must commit to the Hotline Volunteer role for at least 1 year.
  • Continuing Education: Volunteers will be expected to attend re:CONNECT meetings with SARA staff for processing and continued education and skill building. These meetings typically take place once a month at the SARA office for 30-60 minutes.


All prospective volunteers must complete an application indicating interest, experience, and relationship with sexual assault and crisis. We are looking for caring, reliable, empathetic, and non-judgmental individuals who are willing to commit to emotionally challenging work. Additionally, all candidates must be at least 18 years of age in order to volunteer.

Volunteer candidates must attend an interview in order to determine aptitude for the training program and volunteer commitment. Interviews are generally 15-30 minutes long and focus on interpersonal skills and experience with crisis and sexual assault.

We require 3 references to be contacted per volunteer. These references may be friends, coworkers, supervisors, professors, fellow volunteers, etc. They may not be family members or therapists. The best people to list as references are people who have known the candidate for a long time, can speak to their ability to handle crisis situations, emotional stability, and reliability. Also essential is that the references are easily contacted by phone or email.


Volunteers will be trained in many elements of crisis line work through the duration of training. Training consists of a mixture of lecture, small group activities and call simulation.

Topics include:

  • Basic Advocacy and Counseling Skills
  • Information on Sexual Assault
  • Self-Care
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Cultural Humility
  • Suicide and Self-Inflicted Harm
  • Domestic Violence
  • Legal Information and Processes
  • Medical Information and Processes
  • Challenging Call Scenarios and Simulation


If I’ve completed a hotline training elsewhere, do I still have to go through SARA’s training?

Yup!  Sorry, different hotlines have different protocol, and we want to make sure we’re on the same page.  We’re sure there’s stuff that’ll be familiar, but a lot of things will be new, too!  That said, we’d love to hear your perspective on how things were different with your former experiences, and maybe use your expertise to improve our own protocol.

Can I take calls from home?

Yes! Our hotline system allows calls to be forwarded to your personal phone lines, so there is no requirement for volunteers to be at the SARA office while taking a hotline shift.

Do I have a support system?

Definitely. SARA staff serves on call 24/7 and is always available to debrief with you after hotline calls. Additionally, we work to maintain a community of all our volunteers and advocates. Call content can be heavy, and debriefing with others helps our volunteers maintain enthusiasm for the work. We host monthly meetings for our volunteers and advocates to connect with one another, process their work, and boost skills.

Will I receive a training manual?

Yes! We create a comprehensive manual that will include all your training materials and resources to access while taking hotline calls. This manual will be yours to keep.

Any other questions? Contact Lexie Groves at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Community Outreach Volunteers

Community Outreach Volunteers organize and participate in community awareness events and projects. As a Community Outreach Volunteer, you will team up with other people in our community who care about making positive change, and interact with community members at events, while also providing the necessary support for these events and projects to take place. Participation in our 12-hour training program is required.

Please complete the application form and contact our Outreach Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.



Upcoming Events

Women's Support Group
Dec 17 2018 - Dec 17 2018
06:30PM - 08:00PM

About SARA

The mission of the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) is to eliminate sexual violence and its impact by providing education, advocacy and support to men, women and children. Our vision is a community free from sexual violence.

Communities Served

We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia and serve:

  • City of Charlottesville
  • Albemarle County
  • Louisa County
  • Nelson County
  • Fluvanna County
  • Greene County

Contact SARA

 Charlottesville, Virginia

 24-Hour Hotline: 434-977-7273
        Hotline Disclosure

 Office: 434-295-7273

 Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 or fill in the form on our contact page