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OVC TTAC: About This Curriculum: Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training (SAACT) - OVC

Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training

About This Curriculum


Check Navigating the Download Center if you're uncertain where to go first.

Check Preparing for the Training for tips on getting ready for training.

Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training (SAACT) teaches advocates about advocacy/counseling, the realities and impact of sexual assault, procedures to follow in common situations, techniques to support recovery, compassion fatigue and self-care, with new modules on campus sexual assault, male sexual assault and neurobiology and trauma. The 2.5 day curriculum focuses on intervening with individuals in a crisis rather than long-term and group counseling.

Target Audience

SAACT is designed primarily for new advocates/counselors* who are volunteers or staff at rape crisis centers and for seasoned veterans who may need a refresher course. The training also can be useful for nurses (including Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) and for physicians, law enforcement officers, and professional counselors who do not have specific sexual assault training. Not only would this latter group benefit from the training, but trainers would benefit from their presence.

To be most effective and to best use the participatory techniques in the training, limit enrollment to 25 participants.

Trainer Requirements

SAACT trainers should have—

  • Indepth knowledge of sexual assault advocacy/counseling.
  • Practical experience as a sexual assault advocate/counselor.
  • Experience conducting training, particularly in interactive (instead of lecture-based) programs.

If you are a subject matter expert but a novice trainer, practice each module before the training. Also, consider contacting your state sexual assault coalition to determine if there are ways to collaborate with SANEs, allied professionals, and so forth when putting together your training.

Line *NOTE: In most rape crisis centers, counselors with advanced training are available to provide ongoing, scheduled counseling and therapy. Unless advocates have advanced training, or services are limited in your community, it's unlikely advocates will play this role. OVC's Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training in no way teaches the skills necessary for advocates to provide counseling therapy. As such, this training presents basic supportive listening skills that can be used by the advocate/counselor without advanced training.