Sexual Violence Response Volunteer Programs
Peer Education Program
Peer Educators with Sexual Violence Response are students of all gender identities who are committed to preventing sexual and intimate partner violence and educating their peers about healthy relationships and sexuality. Peer Educators participate in training as well as continuing education to help them gain an in-depth understanding of sexual and intimate partner violence and key facilitation and presentation skills. Peer Educators provide the campus community with information about sexual violence and relationship abuse, campus services available for survivors and co-survivors, positive ways to communicate about sex, social and cultural norms that can contribute to violence, and ways in which we can get involved to create a safe and supportive environment where sexual violence is not tolerated.
Outreach Track: Peer Educators that have gone through the fundamental training program contribute to program development, help support workshops and training sessions, staff SVR tables, help plan events for the Columbia community, participate in volunteer working groups, serve as liaisons with the student body, and represent SVR at community activities.
Facilitation & Outreach Track: Peer Educators that do all the tasks of the Outreach track and co-facilitate workshops and training sessions with other certified Peer Educators and SVR staff.
All Peer Educators are invited to contribute to the development and implementation of the following:
- New Student Orientation Progams (NSOP)
- Student Leaders training
- SVR's Sexual Respect & Community Citizenship programming
- Activities for Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM) & Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)
Peer Educators are responsible for:
- Attending regularly scheduled Peer Educator meetings
- Spending approximately two hours every week in the SVR office to prepare for workshops and support the office
- Attending periodic continued education trainings
- Helping coordinate educational and awareness events
- Communicating with SVR staff and other volunteers
- Supporting at least three tables/events each semester (Outreach track)
- Completing the SVR certification process prior to facilitating workshops (Facilitation & Outreach track)
- Facilitating at least one workshop every semester (possibly more, depending on demand and availability) (Facilitation & Outreach track)
Request a workshop with SVR’s Peer Educators by completing the online Sexual Violence Response workshop request form.
Apply to become an SVR Peer Educator by completing the online application.
Peer Advocate Program
Peer Advocates with Sexual Violence Response are students of all identities who are committed to responding to students impacted by sexual and intimate partner violence. Volunteer candidates participate in 40 hours of training as well as continuing education to help them gain an in-depth understanding of sexual and intimate partner violence and effective advocacy skills in response to disclosures of violence. Volunteer candidates also go through a certification process prior to joining the program. Once the candidate has successfully completed training and certification, they become a Certified New York state Department of Health Rape Crisis Counselor.
Peer Advocates are available during scheduled office hours at SVR to provide crisis support to any student who wishes to speak with a peer. Peer Advocates also attend campus events to offer support to students affected by the subject matter.
Peer Advocates offer the following services:
- Balance meeting the survivor’s emotional needs and the survivor’s need for concrete assistance and information.
- Facilitate informed decision-making and empower survivors to make their own decision
- Offer crisis intervention and safety planning.
- Provide referrals and information on a student's rights and options.
Peer Advocates are responsible for:
- Covering 2-4 hours of office hour shifts per month
- Covering 1-2 on-call shifts/month (6:00pm-10:00am)
- Attending scheduled, one-hour meetings with advisors, every week
- Attending at least two continued education training sessions every semester
- Attending required meetings as scheduled
All services are confidential.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and/or gender-based harassment and would like to talk to someone immediately, please call (212) 854-HELP, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Apply to become an SVR Peer Advocate by completing the online application.