Beginning Saturday, Nov. 3, the Center for Women and Children in Crisis will hold training for community members interested in becoming volunteers on the Rape Crisis Team.
Volunteers must complete 30 hours of training before they begin their service on the team. Training will be held on Thursday evenings and Saturdays throughout the month. Training sessions will be held in the board room at the Provo City Library.Once trained, volunteers commit to work on-call every other week for a 48-hour period. Team members wear a pager and must be able to leave home, school or work when needed.
The Rape Crisis teams are organized in two roles: One volunteer works directly with the rape victim, being with her during police questioning and medical examination, if necessary. The other team member works as a backup and helps the victim's family, friends and others involved.
Diane Starks, volunteer coordinator, said that usually the first team member is a female and the second a male. But this is not necessarily the case.
Both team members work together as case managers for however long the victim and family need help. For this reason, volunteers must commit to serve on the team for at least eight months.
Starks said that the teamsare all volunteers; without these committed community volunteers, many rape victims would have no one to turn to for support.
Any dedicated community citizen may qualify to become a Rape Crisis team member. Students studying social work or related areas may find the experience especially helpful for their career goals. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old.
Interested volunteers should call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108. Other volunteer opportunities include:
- A college-aged male volunteer is needed to befriend a young, male cancer victim new to the area. Hospice of Utah County, an agency that helps terminal cancer patients improve the last months of their lives, is coordinating the volunteer match.
- The Parent Education Resource Center in Orem needs volunteers with woodworking skills and equipment to repair and replace parts of wooden puzzles and games. They also need volunteers to help replace flannelboard figures.
- The Utah State Training School in American Fork needs volunteers to help show movies on Friday night and Saturday afternoons. Volunteers help the residents get from their group homes on the campus to the central building. Individual volunteers or groups are welcome to help on an on-going or one-time basis.
For more information on any of these community volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.