Training sessions for volunteers

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With an average of three new clients a week, Rape Crisis Dunedin’s upcoming volunteering training will be a good chance to support the organisation, a spokeswoman says.
Community educator Rachel Shaw said there was a range of roles for volunteers at the community agency, which offers support and counselling for sexual assault survivors, as well as education programmes in the wider community.
The volunteer jobs included answering the 24/7 crisis line, helping organise events for Rape Awareness Week and other community initiatives, alongside office staff, advocacy workers – who support clients to court and police meetings – and paid counsellors, she said.
The training sessions, held in the evenings as well as a few weekends, covered topics such as rape awareness, supporting survivors, gender and sexuality and the Treaty of Waitangi, educator Angelo Libeau said.
The sessions also included visitors from Shakti – the ethnic women’s support group – and Family Planning, Mx Libeau said. (Mx is a gender-neutral title instead of Mr or Ms.)
Educator Sophie Graham said the organisation was “getting busier” as there was definitely “more awareness” about Rape Crisis’ services and the ability to report and get support for both recent and historic sexual assaults.
Ms Shaw said the organisation supported both women and non-binary people – people who do not identify as male or female – especially as Maori and Pasifika women and members of the LGBTQ community were at a higher risk of sexual assault.
“[However], sexual abuse can happen to anyone,” she reiterated.
Rape Crisis’ training sessions will start on March 25, with registrations closing on March 7. To get more information or to sign up, email rcrisis@xtra.co.nz or phone (03) 474-1592.