Volunteers play a vital role in SARA’s mission to educate our community and assist and empower people who have experienced sexual violence.
The SARA Hotline serves as an immediate response to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones at the time the support is needed. No matter how long ago the assault occurred, the SARA hotline provides brief crisis intervention. Hotline volunteers help provide callers with appropriate referrals and resources to empower callers to make their own choices and conduct their own healing process. Hotline Volunteers provide immediate response at times when the office is closed, and act as “triage” when referring callers to other SARA resources.
In order to provide the best service to our clients, there is a mandatory interviewing, reference-checking, and 40-hour training process for all incoming volunteers. SARA Hotline Volunteers MUST be at least 18 years old. Minimum volunteer commitment: 24 Hours/month, which immediately follows completion of training. Potential 4- or 12-hour shift blocks are available when the SARA office is closed (evenings, weekends, and holidays). Hotline volunteers must commit to the Hotline Volunteer role for at least 1 year.
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.