It goes without saying that when a person experiences rape or any other sort of sexual trauma, it is not only potentially physically scarring, it is always emotionally scarring. Hope is never lost for these people, however, and you can be one of the people to help them heal from the trauma of this heinous crime. By becoming a rape crisis counselor, this is a very possible scenario.
There exists an organization called RAINN that specializes in helping victims of sexual assault. This is a good place to begin whether you want to become a rape crisis counselor with them or elsewhere. Visit their web page to read more about the various provided services for victims. Those who wish to volunteer can apply to either answer a hotline phone, escort victims to the hospital for taking a rape kit or perhaps even serve as their advocate in court when their rapist has been charged.
Once on the web page, search for your local center and pick the one at which you wish to volunteer and fill out the form. The form should include your name and email addressed so that you can be contacted in the near future with more necessary information. When you are selected, you will be subjected to a criminal background check as well as training, which is conducted at various centers throughout the country.
If you cannot leave your home or want to help victims through the computer, then you will want to volunteer for RAINN's online hotline. There is a form to fill out for the new web based online hotline as well.
Alternatively, you can visit the Planned Parent web page and follow the same procedure to apply to for their volunteer positions. There is a tab in particular labeled "volunteer" in which you can learn about the different opportunities and positions available at your local crisis center. Local centers always have counseling for victims of sexual assault and some may even have a hotline.
In order to qualify as a rape crisis counselor, as previously stated, you will need to complete training. No matter what organization to which you will apply, they will require you participate specifically in training to understand intervention of crises. This type of training is essential as it will describe the different ways to help victims while allowing them to make their own decisions. Also, again as previously stated, a criminal background check will be required as well.
Keep in mind that you should never try to take on any problems from victims without the proper training. Without proper training, this could actually have devastating results rather than beneficial. Even with training, if you feel the victim has issues beyond your experience or comfort level, seek help from a supervisor or someone with more experience with their sort of situation.