Volunteer with Sexual Violence Response

Become a Peer Advocate

Peer Advocates with the Sexual Violence Response program are students of all identities who are committed to responding to students impacted by sexual or intimate partner violence. Volunteer candidates participate in 40 hours of training, as well as continuing education to gain an in-depth understanding of sexual and intimate partner violence, and build effective advocacy skills in response to disclosures of violence.

Volunteers also go through a certification process prior to joining the program. Once candidates have successfully completed training and certification, they become certified New York State Department of Health Rape Crisis Counselors.

Peer Advocates are available 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, all of which are confidential:

  • Guidance on balancing survivor’s emotional needs with survivor’s need for concrete assistance and information
  • Facilitating informed decision-making and empower survivors to make their own decisions
  • Crisis intervention and safety planning
  • Accompaniment to the hospital or other on- or off campus resource
  • Referrals and information on student rights and options

Peer Advocates are responsible for:

  • Covering two to four hours of office hour shifts per month
  • Covering one to two on-call shifts each month (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.)
  • Attending scheduled, one-hour meetings with advisors every week
  • Attending at least two continuing education training sessions every semester
  • Attending required meetings as scheduled

Apply to become a Peer Advocate by completing the online application.

Become a Peer Educator

Peer Educators with Sexual Violence Response are students of all 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 Programs (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)

Apply to become an SVR Peer Educator by completing the online application.

To request a workshop with SVR’s Peer Educators please complete the online Sexual Violence Response workshop request form