Volunteers needed to support survivors of sexual violence in Monmouth County

For 45 years, 180 Turning Lives Around, a private nonprofit organization in Monmouth County, has provided support and advocacy for victims of sexual violence in the aftermath of a highly emotional and traumatic experience with the assistance of its dedicated Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) volunteers.

180’s specially trained, confidential victim advocates, with countywide law enforcement 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 a press release.

180’s volunteers also provide telephone support, which includes at the time of crisis, addressing medical and emotional needs, information regarding the justice system, and referrals for services. The volunteers also provide support and advocacy for the survivor’s significant other and adult survivors of childhood sexual assault, according to the press release.

The organization’s directors are inviting the community to join 180’s life-changing mission. 180 will conduct the mandatory, 40-hour SART training course for new volunteers from June 1-24 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) from 6-9:30 p.m., remotely via Zoom.

Basic requirements for volunteers to apply include that they must be 18 years of age 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 and submit to fingerprinting and background checks.

180 is committed to a socially and culturally diverse team to best serve the community. Bi-lingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of or training in sexual violence is not required, according to the press release.

To obtain an application, contact Kate Gerahty at kateg@180nj.org or call 732-264-4360, ext. 3308. The deadline to apply is May 21.

According to the organization’s directors, 180 is dedicated to providing comprehensive supportive services – emergency safe housing, counseling, legal advocacy, creative arts therapies for children, education and advocacy for individuals in Monmouth County who are affected by domestic violence and sexual violence.

Anyone who is a victim of sexual violence may call 180’s confidential hotline 24 hours a day at 1-888-264-RAPE (7273). For more information, visit www.180nj.org. In an emergency, dial 911.