Part of a Village – Being a Rape Crisis Volunteer

“It takes a village to help a survivor and I’m so happy that YWCA Stepping Stones was there for me and other survivors like me.”

Part of our village is volunteers just like you! If you have you ever considered a helping or medical profession, or simply just want to make a difference, you can get direct client experience as a rape crisis volunteer through Stepping Stones.

Stepping Stones is the YWCA’s sexual assault program and we are currently seeking compassionate volunteers for our hotline. Volunteers keep the hotline running 24/7/365. They ensure sexual assault survivors in McLean County get the help and advocacy they need when they need it most.

As a volunteer, you carry a pager once a month to take crisis calls or you may be directed to go to the hospital to provide support for someone who has been recently assaulted. Our volunteers hone their crisis intervention skills, get familiar with Bloomington-Normal resources, and find fulfillment by helping those in need.

At the hospital, you inform the client of their legal rights; literally and figuratively hold their hand, and advocate for them to get the best care possible. You build rapport with the survivor, serving as an impartial person to give them their options, and help them navigate the process. You will not tell the survivor what to do; instead you empower him/her by letting them pick the best options for themselves.

As a volunteer, you take one on call shift a month (Monday-Wednesday 4 p.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, 4 p.m.-4 p.m., or Friday-Monday, 4 p.m.-4.p.m.) – you must carry the pager the entire shift, but only answer calls that are not during normal business hours. Normal business hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

After going through the 40 hour training, you will do direct client service. Sometimes you are the ONLY person there supporting the survivor. You will feel like a super hero after leaving the hospital or getting off the phone, knowing you really made a difference in someone’s life.

Click here to fill out an application and become part of our team!

This post was submitted by Elizabeth Rarden. Elizabeth is a Prevention Educator at YWCA McLean County and can be reached at (309) 662-0461, ext. 286 or erardin@ywcamclean.org.

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