UNION COUNTY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have announced a free training course available for persons interested in becoming Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates (CSVAs) for victims of sexual violence.

The Union County Rape Crisis Center (RCC) will offer a free training program for volunteer Confidential Sexual Violence Advocates. Training sessions begin Tuesday, August 15, and conclude Thursday, Sept. 28.  Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the RCC office in Westfield located within the Colleen Fraser county services building, 300 North Avenue East.

“Volunteer advocates help guide victims through legal and medical systems while providing emotional support, respecting the strict confidentiality of each case”, said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “CSVA volunteers serve Union County residents during a physical and emotional crisis and we are grateful for their dedication to helping victims through a traumatic experience.”

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Volunteers must be Union County residents at least 18 years of age. They must hold a valid driver’s license and have their own vehicle. Prior to training, each volunteer must come to the Rape Crisis Center for an informal interview. Volunteers must also attend all training sessions.

For further information about volunteering, and to schedule an interview, call the Union County Rape Crisis Center at 908-233-7273.  In addition, information may be obtained from the Rape Crisis Center’s blog, unioncountyrapecrisiscenter.blogspot.com.

The Rape Crisis Center is part of the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Planning, and has been serving Union County residents since 1984.