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Sexual Assault Advocate/Counselor Training

1.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered for this training.

With a focus on crisis intervention rather than long-term counseling, this 2.5 day training will deepen your understanding of sexual assault and the major roles of an advocate/counselor. This training is designed primarily for sexual assault advocates/counselors who are volunteers or staff at rape crisis centers. Others who may benefit include nurses, physicians, law enforcement officers, and professional counselors who do not have specific sexual assault training. This updated training includes modules on campus sexual assault, male sexual assault, and neurobiology of trauma and assault. Through case studies, role-playing, and other interactive exercises, you will build the basic skills necessary to provide competent, effective crisis intervention services to sexual assault victims/survivors effectively and sensitively. Specifically, you will:

  • Define your role in relation to others working as part of a sexual assault response team.
  • Practice how to respond to a crisis call reporting recent sexual assault.
  • Develop a "toolkit" of crisis intervention techniques to support recovery from sexual assault.
  • Formulate a personalized self-care plan to prevent burnout.

Active participation in each of the following training modules will help you accomplish these specific learning objectives:

  • Introductions and Overview
    • Determine when to use the terms sexual assault, sexual violence, rape, sexual abuse, victim, and survivor.
  • What is Sexual Assault Advocacy/Counseling?
    • Describe the composition of a SART.
    • Identify the major roles of an advocate.
    • Make appropriate decisions about confidentiality based on state reporting laws.
  • Realities of Sexual Assault
    • Correctly answer at least two questions about the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault in the United States.
    • Identify at least one factor contributing to underreporting of sexual assault.
    • List at least two myths and two facts about rape and sexual assault.
  • The Neurobiology of Trauma and Sexual Assault
    • Describe the components of the brain related to trauma.
    • Explain common ways the brain is affected during and after sexual assault.
    • Recognize common ways a traumatic experience may affect a victim's behavior.
    • Assist victims in understanding the neurobiology of trauma, when appropriate.
  • Impact of Sexual Assault
    • Describe the physical and psychological impact of sexual assault.
    • Describe the impact of sexual assault on partners, family, and close friends.
  • Campus Sexual Assault
    • Cite key statistics on campus sexual assault.
    • Describe the laws that apply to sexual assault on campus.
    • Identify resources available to victims of campus sexual assault.
  • Effects of Sexual Assault on Males
    • Distinguish fact from myth regarding male sexual assault.
    • Discuss gender socialization.
    • Describe the effects of sexual assault on males.
    • Discuss how to assist males who have been victims of sexual assault.
  • Procedures in Common Advocacy Situations
    • Respond appropriately to a caller on a crisis line who is reporting a recent sexual assault.
    • Identify correct procedures during a medical-forensic exam.
    • Create a list of “dos and don’ts” for law enforcement statement accompaniment and courtroom accompaniment.
    • Differentiate the roles of advocates, SANEs, and other SART members.
    • Identify special procedures and “red flags” for dealing with drug-facilitated sexual assault.
  • Recovery Education and Skills Training
    • Use crisis intervention, education, and supportive counseling skills to assist sexual assault victims.
  • Compassion Fatigue and Self-Care
    • Identify actions and behaviors that violate healthy boundaries.
    • Develop a personalized self-care plan to prevent compassion fatigue.
  • Wrap-Up and Evaluation
    • Design a personalized checklist to assist them during your advocacy work.

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