Volunteers needed to assist victims of sexual violence

On average, two survivors of sexual assault come forward to 180 Turning Lives Around each day seeking counseling and other services. Nationwide, one in five women and one in 71 men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survivors is even higher, according to a press release from 180 Turning Lives Around.

Sexual violence includes non-consensual penetration, even the slightest criminal sexual contact, lewdness, sexual harassment, childhood sexual assault and sexual abuse of vulnerable populations, according to the press release.

For 43 years, 180 Turning Lives Around, a private nonprofit organization in Monmouth County, has provided and continues to provide support and advocacy for victims of sexual violence with the assistance of its dedicated Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) volunteers, according to the press release.

Since 1996, 180 Turning Lives Around’s trained confidential victim advocates, who are members of the community, with countywide law enforcement agencies and the forensic nurse examiners program, provide emotional support and assistance to victims and their significant others during accompaniments for timely and sensitive hospital medical examinations, and police and grand jury procedures, according to the press release.

The volunteers also provide telephone support, which includes at the time of crisis, addressing medical and emotional needs, information regarding the criminal justice system, and referrals for services.

180 Turning Lives Around will conduct a mandatory 40-hour SART training course for new volunteers from June 4-27 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays) from 6-9:30 p.m. at Wall Township Police Headquarters, 2700 Allaire Road, Wall Township.

Individuals who wish to apply for a volunteer position must 18 or older, have access to reliable transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process, submit to fingerprinting and background checks, and successfully complete the mandatory training.

Bilingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of or training in sexual violence is not required. The deadline to apply is May 26. To obtain an application, contact Tina Morgan at tinam@180nj.org or 732-264-4360, ext. 4272