Rape response volunteers needed

Published 12:03 am Friday, May 1, 2015

Rape Response (RR) volunteers are needed to provide support for sexual assault patients at Andalusia Regional Hospital’s emergency room.

Concerned women Cindy Howard and Debra Gamble are working with Covington County Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter and ARH Director of Emergency Services Amy Herrington to locate volunteers.

Howard said there are approximately 12 adults, who have experienced sexual assault, seen in ARH’s emergency room each year.

“This is the first time this kind of training has been offered in Covington County,” Howard said.

A Rape Response volunteer serves as an advocate to victims — family and friends of victims — of sexual assault at ARH. Additionally, he or she may offer support or answer questions for the family at the hospital, all the while making sure the victim remains the main concern and focus of attention.

As volunteers, advocates also help with exploring resources and developing strategies or options for managing problems; taking control of the helping process; providing suicidal and emergency risk victims with accurate assessments and interventions; and documenting all contacts thoroughly.

Volunteers don’t need any special training or experience to apply.

Professional counselors and therapists may volunteer their time with RR as most volunteers are not professional helpers.

Those interested must be a high school graduate at least 18 years old. RR volunteers must also have access to reliable transportation and carry automobile liability insurance.

Oral and or written exercises will be asked of applicants by staff members, and the screening process takes about an hour.

Once accepted, volunteers will receive appropriate training on a wide range of topics.

Volunteers will have to commit to one year of service from the date of graduation, take several on-call shifts per month and fill out necessary paperwork while on call.

To apply, contact Howard by phone at 334-208-0801 or via email at cahoward1229@gmail.com, or Debra Gamble by phone at 678-794-4898 or email at dagamble@ymail.com.