24-Hour Hotline: 434-977-7273
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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. Our volunteer opportunities include Hotline Volunteers, Community Outreach Volunteers, and Administrative Volunteers.

Hotline Volunteers 

The SARA Hotline operates 24/7 and 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.

To provide the best service to our clients, there is a mandatory application, interview, reference-check, 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. Shifts range from 4-12 hour blocks on weeknights, weekends, and holidays. Hotline volunteers must commit to the Hotline Volunteer role for at least 1 year.

The 2022 Winter Hotline Training will be on the following dates:

Monday January 10 5:30-8:30p

Wednesday January 12 5:30-8:30p

Saturday January 15 10a-4p

Monday January 17 5:30-8:30p

Wednesday January 19 5:30-8:30p

Monday January 24 5:30-8:30p

Wednesday January 26 5:30-8:30p

Saturday January 29 10a-4p

You must attend all trainings to be eligible to be a hotline volunteer. If necessary, you may miss one session but it must be made up in the next cycle of trainings. 

For more details and to sign up, please fill out an application and contact the 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 2018. 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 timeline for a Hotline Volunteer:

  • Applications Due
  • Interviews and Reference Checks
  • Training: 40 hours total. 30 in-person, 10 on your own “homework." Candidates can only miss one session to successfully complete training. 
  • Minimum volunteer commitment: 24 Hours/month, which immediately follows completion of training. Potential 4- or 12-hour shift blocks are available from 5p-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 Reconnect 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 our Crisis Services Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Apply to Be a SARA Hotline Volunteer!


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 a 2-hour volunteer orientation is required. Outreach Volunteers organize, execute, and participate in community awareness events; reach out to community organization, both local and rural; table specific events; and promote the agency's vision and mission. 

 If you have any other questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Administrative Volunteers

Administrative Volunteers assist with answering office phones, greeting clients, and completing office responsibilities and projects as needed. Availability for this type of volunteer is extremely limited and only on an as-needed basis. 

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

Get Involved


Upcoming Events

Louisa IAC
Dec 09 2021 - Dec 09 2021
09:30AM - 11:00AM
SART Meeting
Dec 16 2021 - Dec 16 2021
12:00PM - 02:30PM
Nelson IAC
Dec 20 2021 - Dec 20 2021
02:00PM - 03:30PM
Greene IAP
Dec 27 2021 - Dec 27 2021
10:00AM - 12:30PM
Fluvanna IAC Meeting
Jan 06 2022 - Jan 06 2022
09:30AM - 11:00AM

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