What volunteer opportunities are available if I join SACI?
Volunteers enrich the community by providing a crucial service, and they also gain valuable, practical skills to benefit their professional and personal lives. There are many great opportunities for SACI volunteers:
Hotline Advocacy: SACI operates a 24-hour, confidential hotline. Anyone affected by sexual violence can call our hotline for support. Our volunteers are trained in crisis intervention and supportive communication, and anyone who calls the hotline will receive empathy, non-judgmental support, and resource information.
Medical Advocacy: When someone is raped and chooses to go to the hospital to seek medical help we, along with The Listening Ear and Angel House, respond to the hospital as medical advocates. We stay with them throughout their medical exam, providing crisis intervention and support to the survivor and their significant others. Advocates give information on area resources, offer follow-up support, explain the medical & legal systems, and ensure that they are as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process. SACI believes in empathy and empowerment, and these principles are the foundation of our advocacy. Medical advocacy is a critical role of SACI. Though challenging in many ways, providing advocacy at such a crucial time in the healing process is extremely rewarding.
Judicial Advocacy: MSU students, faculty, and staff members can file a complaint with the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives if they have been sexually harassed. Rape is considered the most severe form of sexual harassment. SACI provides advocacy to help with the judicial process - from filing a complaint to preparing for a hearing, to debriefing the outcome of the hearing.
Legal Advocacy: SACI provides advocacy and support for anyone working with law enforcement. Advocates are available to help survivors file a police report, speak with detectives, and work with prosecuting attorneys. SACI advocates ensure that survivors do not navigate the legal system alone.
Peer Education & Outreach: SACI strongly believes in rape prevention through educating our peers. We speak to freshman at orientation sessions, resource fairs, hold films series, and try to collaborate with as many groups on campus as possible. Every Five Minutes (e5m) is a theater troupe that performs skits across campus to raise awareness about sexual violence. Take Back the Night is one of our main outreach activities and takes place every April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. SACI works with other campus & community organizations to raise awareness about sexual violence. Plus, we skydive! Operation Free Fall takes place every April to raise money for local programs and spread awareness of this crime. Whether you want to jump out of a plane or help someone else jump out of a plane, Operation Free Fall is a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.
Office Support: The Sexual Assault Program always needs people to help with everyday office support – filing, posting flyers, entering data, etc.
SACI volunteers also enjoy just hanging out and having fun! SACI is a wonderful and supportive community, and we’d love for you to join us!
I am a man. Can I still be an advocate?
Men are definitely encouraged to join SACI. First, sexual violence is a pervasive social problem that effects everyone in the community – not just women. To respond adequately, we need everyone to work together. Second, many female survivors find comfort in working with a supportive man and male victims report feeling less isolated when working with other men.
I am a survivor. Can I still be an advocate?
Many volunteers in this field are survivors. After overcoming their own trauma, many people want to “give back” and help others. There are usually several people who identify themselves as a survivor in each training program. Those who have been recently assaulted may find the training program re-traumatizing and are encouraged to apply later in their recovery process. Any concerns should be addressed before training begins with the Advocacy Coordinator, Lauren Allswede.
How do I apply?
What will I do during training and why is it so long?
Whether providing crisis intervention or educating the community about sexual violence, the sensitive nature of our work necessitates that our advocates are knowledgeable, competent and dependable. At the end of the training, volunteers will know about the following topics:
sexual violence dynamics
characteristics of sexual assault perpetrators
vulnerable populations & cultural considerations
Material is learned through lecture, discussion, reading, exercises, films, and role plays. The topics discussed during training are often difficult and painful to process, so a lot of work is done to make sure that training is a safe and secure environment.
What is required of volunteers?
Volunteers are expected to:
Complete the 40-hour training program
Complete volunteer application
Attend SACI volunteer meetings or meet with advisor once a month
Sign up for one or more service areas
Complete two service shifts per month
I have other questions that aren’t answered here. Where I can I find out more?
Advocacy Coordinator for the Sexual Assault Program
Phone: (517) 353-1669
The Sexual Assault Program Office
Phone: (517) 355-3551
Should you need to speak with a sexual violence advocate,
please call our 24-hour hotline: (517) 372-6666.