CORNELIUS - United Family Services is looking for volunteers to offer comfort and support to victims of sexual violence in the Lake Norman area. Training sessions for volunteer companions begin next month in Charlotte.
Volunteer companions respond to survivors of rape and sexual assault through a 24-hour crisis line, and by accompanying them at local hospitals to provide emotional support, information, advocacy and education.
“A survivor could be anyone. It could be your neighbor or your neighbor’s child. They come from all walks of life,” United Family Services Lake Norman Region Director Kathryn Firmin-Sellers said in a statement. “People in our community need to know they have this resource available to them.”
According to UFS, one in every five women will be the victim of a sexual assault over the course of their adult lives, and sexual violence is extremely under-reported.
Companions go through extensive training and agree to accept four, 12-hour, on-call shifts each month. They respond to hospitals in Lake Norman and Cabarrus County.
Rape Crisis Companions:
- Promote the well-being and adjustment of child and adult victims of rape or sexual assault by providing crisis intervention services.
- Deliver services to clients by providing emotional support during hospital procedures, information about medical and legal protocol, and by linking clients and Victim Advocates.
- Assist child and adult victims and their family members by providing information about medical and legal procedures and guidance to those who call the Rape Crisis Hotline.
- Contribute to the dissemination of direct service information by maintaining accurate, up-to-date client records and by adhering to agency reporting requirements. This includes completing documentation for each client contact, providing staff with client’s follow-up contact information, and adhering to HIPAA protocol as outlined in training.
Qualified volunteers should be able to listen and communicate with empathy and to maintain a non-judgmental attitude. They also must have a telephone and transportation to area hospitals, and must pass a criminal background check.
WANT TO VOLUNTEER?
United Family Services will hold its next Rape Crisis Companion training in Charlotte. Training sessions will be held September 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29. Thursday trainings take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday sessions take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Training is comprehensive, so trainees must attend all sessions.
For more information, or to register, please contact Carol Roth, at email@example.com or 704-367-2799.