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Volunteer advocates needed to support victims of domestic violence

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For 46 years, 180 Turning Lives Around has provided confidential support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence in the aftermath of a highly emotional and traumatic experience with the assistance of its response team volunteers at police headquarters throughout Monmouth County.

180 is a private nonprofit organization in Monmouth County and its volunteer Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) victim advocates are civilian members of the community who work with law enforcement to provide support, information and resources to victims of domestic violence, according to a press release.

Advocates also discuss with victims safety planning and their legal rights in regard to obtaining a temporary restraining order.

By providing empathy and a crucial perspective of the situation, the trained advocates help to empower victims to make informed decisions for themselves and their families, according to the press release.

The free, confidential service of the DVRT program is available for victims of domestic violence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at police departments in Monmouth County.

A mandatory 40-hour training course for new volunteer victim advocates will be conducted by 180 staff from Oct. 11 through Nov. 2 from 6-9:30 p.m. in person and via Zoom on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Week 1 will be in person at the Holmdel Community Center.

Weeks 2 and 3 will be conducted via Zoom.

Week 4 will be in person in the Ocean Township municipal courtroom on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

During weeks 1 and 4, participants will be able to distance. A mask is not required, but will be available for those who wish to wear one. The directors will advise the participants if there are any changes to the policy and will shift to all Zoom training, if necessary.

Training will be provided free of charge to successful applicants, according to the press release.

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, submit to background investigations and fingerprinting, and successfully complete the mandatory training.

The police departments and 180 are committed to culturally and socially diverse teams to best serve the community. Bilingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of domestic violence is not required. The identities of the DVRT volunteers are kept anonymous, according to the press release.

For an application or additional information, contact Tina Morgan via email at tinam@180nj.org or 732 264-4360, ext. 4272. Individuals are asked to mention their town of residence.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 1. Applications are also available for download at https://180nj.org/give-help/volunteer/volunteer-advocate-for-victims-of-domestic-violence/

According to the press release, 180 Turning Lives Around is dedicated to providing, free of charge, emergency safe housing, counseling, support, prevention, education and advocacy in Monmouth County for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking.

Anyone in need of assistance may call the 24/7 confidential hotline at 732-264-4111 or 888-843-9262. Visit www.180nj.org for more information. In an emergency, call 911.

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