“Volunteering is the act of showing up and being the calming voice at the other end of the line; You are someone who is truly present and there to listen, who offers hope and support, and has the privilege of being a part of another’s healing. It profoundly changes your own experience within the world, as well as others.” -J.M.

“Especially in these turbulent, violent times, it feels good to connect to someone in a positive, real way, and to feel like you may have helped someone with their healing.” -A.R.

Being able to offer my support and compassion to survivors on the hotline is an incredible privilege.” -S.T.

“Listening is so powerful.” -M.L

What do volunteers do for BAWAR?
Volunteers work with BAWAR in various capacities, depending on their interests, availability, and skills. Volunteers who become California State Certified Rape Crisis Counselors staff our 24-hour sexual assault crisis line, which is available to all survivors of sexual assault and their significant others. Our counselors also provide accompaniment to rape survivors for hospital, courtroom, and police proceedings. While other volunteers have helped us with many things including office support, fundraising, computer assistance, and other special projects.

Who Can Apply to Be a Rape Crisis Counselor?
It is not necessary for you to have prior counseling experience or any particular licenses or degrees. Thorough preparation is provided during the training. Our current volunteer pool includes people from all walks of life and personal backgrounds, who share a deep commitment to supporting rape survivors and working to end sexual violence. We accept people of all genders in the counselor training. We do require you must be over 18 to be a volunteer. And we encourage men who want to work with male survivors and significant others to apply for this training/volunteer opportunity.

What’s the Training Like?
This 11-week training course is held from 6:00pm – 9:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Our next training will be held in Fremont from February 7 – April 20, 2017. Training covers a wide variety of in-depth issues, including myths and realities of sexual assault, Rape Trauma Syndrome, counseling and listening skills, child sexual abuse and incest, working with law enforcement, cultural and racial issues, queer, transgender and questioning survivors, male survivors, domestic violence, suicide, ritual abuse, hospital accompaniment procedures, and roleplays. Graduates of the BAWAR training receive a California State Certification in Rape Crisis Counseling.

The training is FREE. There is a $50.00 non-refundable fee for training materials. Participants who complete the training successfully will meet the hourly requirement to become State Certified Rape Crisis Counselors. You must be able to attend all sessions.

2017 Training Dates:
Spring – February 7 – April 20 (Fremont) Application deadline: January 1st

Summer – June 6 – August 17 (Oakland) Application deadline: May 1st

Fall – September 27 – December 14 (Oakland) Application deadline: August 1st

What Happens After The Training?
In exchange for the free 77-hour training and certification, we require a commitment to volunteer for BAWAR for 36 hours of on-call time each month, for a period of 9 months or the equivalent of 324 hours. (your commitment begins the month after your successful completion of the training). This means that during those 36 on-call hours you will be available to take crisis line calls or meet a survivor at the hospital. You will have the flexibility to sign up for shifts that fit into your schedule.

I’m Interested, What Can I Do Next?
If you are interested in the BAWAR training please fill out our online Volunteer Application. Once your application is submitted, BAWAR will reach out to you before the start of the next training cycle.