Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center Accepting Applications for Volunteer Advocates

As staff or faculty, do you want to help students at a time they are most in need? If so, then being Volunteer Staff/Faculty Advocate may be for you.

The Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center of the Pat Walker Health Center is seeking appointed staff and faculty volunteers to serve as after-hours response advocates.

What is a SRVC Volunteer Staff/Faculty Advocate? An advocate is someone who wants to help students during a very difficult time. By being on call for one week at a time, the volunteer advocate provides support by responding to phone calls and accompanying victims/survivors who report to law enforcement or seek medical forensic exams. A bit of timely support during a very difficult time can make a lifetime difference.

What is involved with being a SRVC Staff/Faculty Volunteer Advocate? To be an advocate, you must have a willingness to help an individual during one of the most difficult times of their lives, be willing to believe and support the victim/survivor no matter what the situation and a willingness to serve on call after hours (5 p.m. to 8 a.m.) during the week and on weekends as part of a weekly rotation of volunteers. Currently, our dedicated volunteers serve a couple of weeks per semester (fall and spring) as either the primary or the back-up secondary on-call person. The more volunteers, the more time between rotations. Those who have been volunteering have found that it is not an overwhelming amount of time and when someone is reached out to, it has been a rewarding experience to make a profound difference in an individual's life.

Being on call sounds scary and like a lot of time commitment. For victims who choose to report, having a trained volunteer advocate present can make all the difference! The reality is that getting called out is less likely than you think. But, we need dedicated people to be available for when the need does exist. Also, don't be scared. We provide appropriate training so that volunteer advocates have a good working knowledge of advocacy prior to ever getting called out or taking a phone call. You don't have to know all of the answers. You just need a willingness to be supportive and provide resources. SRVC staff will provide all follow-up advocacy needs with individuals along their healing journey. 

How does one become a SRVC Staff/Faculty Volunteer Advocate?

Step 1: Basic requirements: currently employed by the university, either appointed classified or non-classified staff position or faculty position (note: students are not eligible).

Step 2: Complete the survey application by Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Step 3: Attend and complete the training session to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 10. Training will be held on campus with location to be shared later. Traditionally, with your supervisor's permission, attendance of this training has been allowable during regular work hours. The training will not only prepare you for being a volunteer advocate, but will potentially enhance whatever position you hold on campus as for you will have a better understanding of matters related to sexual assault.

We hope you will consider this opportunity to help students during one of their greatest times of need. Please remember that the application deadline is Aug. 4. We want to have adequate materials prepared, and lunch will be provided. Questions may be directed to Dr. Mary A. Wyandt-Hiebert, director of the campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Center, at mwyandt@uark.edu.

Contacts

Charlie Alison, executive editor
University Relations
479-575-6731, calison@uark.edu

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