Volunteers needed to support survivors of sexual violence

By Sue Levine

Sexual violence is never the survivor’s fault and 180 Turning Lives Around stands with all survivors. We believe in their strength and courage. It is in these very trying times that a survivor needs 180 even more and we are determined to be there for anyone who needs our services. 180 is fully operational and here to help.

For 45 years, 180, a private nonprofit organization in Monmouth County, continues to provide 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, in collaboration 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.

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.

They also provide support and advocacy for the survivor’s significant other and adult survivors of childhood sexual assault.

We invite the community to join 180’s life-changing mission today. 180 is conducting the mandatory, 40-hour SART training course for new volunteers from Jan. 4-27, 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. Bilingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of or training in sexual violence is not required.

To obtain an application, contact Kate Gerahty at kateg@180nj.org or call 732 264-4360, ext. 3308, or https://180nj.org/get-help/sexual-assault-response-teams-sart/

The deadline to apply is Dec. 17.

Together, we can create pathways to safety and healing. 180 is dedicated to providing comprehensive supportive services at no charge – emergency safe housing, counseling, legal advocacy, creative arts therapies for children, education, and advocacy for those in Monmouth County who are affected by domestic violence and sexual violence.

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of sexual violence, please call 180’s 24/7 confidential hotline at 1-888-264-RAPE (7273). For more information, visit www.180nj.org.
In an emergency, dial 911.

Sue Levine is the Victim Support Program Coordinator at 180 Turning Lives Around.