Looking for Volunteers....

The Union County Rape Crisis Center is looking for dedicated individuals who are interested in helping survivors of sexual violence. There are multiple, upcoming training opportunities, so please contact us for further information.

What are the requirements?
  • Resident of Union County
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Valid U.S. driver's license
  • Personal (own) means of transportation (i.e. a car)
  • Participation in an informal interview between 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday
  • Successful completion of Advocate training which includes attendance at all sessions
  • Commitment to volunteer for a period of at least one year
  • Commitment to signing up for at least three hotline shifts per month
  • Regular attendance at monthly volunteer meetings (evening)

*If you meet these requirements and are interested in interviewing, kindly phone us at (908) 233-7273 or email rcc@ucnj.org.

Featured Advocate of the Month

Featured Advocate of the Month
Amy B.

Sexual violence isn’t a topic most people want to talk about. Truth be told, it often has the opposite effect when it comes up in conversation that I’m a Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate. Many people respond with remarks like, “Why would you want to be in the face of another person’s trauma? I could never do that.” This common reaction made me reflect upon my own reasons for embarking upon this journey, and what it means to be in the face of trauma. It’s not easy to articulate, but I’m hoping to inspire others contemplating this role and celebrating those who have chosen this path.

When people say, “I could never do that,” I think about the place I was in when I first considered volunteering at the Union County Rape Crisis Center, especially when I realized the amount of responsibility that goes along with advocacy…to the survivors and their significant others, to other team members, to the center itself as a division of county government. I was in! I think anyone with an open heart and willingness to serve others can do this with the proper training, and I am living proof of that. I am a normal person, with the same feelings, challenges, and foibles as anyone else. All the training in the world does not make it easy to be in the face of trauma, but the skills I’ve learned and continually refine as an advocate are powerful tools in making this possible. They enable me to assist the person who is experiencing the trauma firsthand. They also enable me to find ways to constructively handle my own emotional responses to this work.

This brings me to what I get out of advocacy. It might seem like a contradiction to talk about it in terms of myself when the role is to serve others, but there is logic here. It feels amazing to help someone else. Yes, it feels good to walk away from a situation and know you played a part in making something monumentally difficult a little bit easier for a survivor. That is achieved by expressing empathy, sharing information, empowering survivors to make their own choices, and supporting them in their decisions. It also means to advocate for survivors if their rights are being denied. There is a special connection that is forged when you help a survivor truly realize that they are not alone.

I am a firm believer that in the midst of trauma and tragedy, there exists the possibility for goodness, strength, and resilience. These moments remind me that it is a privilege to serve in this capacity. The light in the human spirit is humbling to bear witness to in the face of trauma. It is an integral part of what makes it possible for me to serve. There are times when you don’t get obvious, immediate validation of a job well-done, but I have found a balance where I can rest in the knowledge that I went in with an open heart and did the best I could. Either way, the experience is worth it.

I have so much respect for my administrator and fellow team members. I am proud to be a part of the Union County Rape Crisis Center. It’s a wonderful place to serve, and the skills you learn can positively impact other aspects of your life. If you are looking for a place to volunteer, I encourage you to contact us for more information.