Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services announces helpline training

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FARMINGTON — Franklin County’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services is looking for volunteers to attend an advocate training in preparation for staffing the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Helpline. Training will take place on Oct. 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Oct. 8 from 4 to 8 p.m., and on Oct. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the SAPARS office on the second floor of The Holman House, 227 Main St.

This extensive training will prepare volunteer advocates to become helpful support people to those who have been affected by sexual violence. The training provides insight and information into the areas of sexual harassment, stalking, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. It will also address system response to sexual assault, challenges faced by survivors and the importance of self-care. Volunteer advocates will learn crisis intervention and advocacy skills through education and practical application activities. Volunteer advocates will also know the various resources that are available in the community to assist survivors.

Volunteer advocates must be over the age of 18, empathetic and dependable, with access to reliable transportation. All potential volunteers must complete the training and a screening process which includes criminal and DHHS background checks. A stipend is available for volunteer advocates who cover evening, weekend and holiday shifts. No prior experience is necessary.

To learn more, contact Lauren Dembski at 207-743-9777, ext. 5, or by email at lauren.dembski@sapars.org.

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SAPARS (historically known as SAVES in Franklin County) helps people recover from the trauma of sexual violence. Visit www.sapars.org. The statewide, toll free, 24-hour Helpline is 1-800-871-7741.

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