Volunteers needed for Berrien County sexual assault response team

SAINT JOSEPH, Mich. – The Berrien County Sexual Assault Response Team is seeking volunteers for their advocate volunteers for abuse survivors program. 

The advocates assist sexual assault nurse examiners in providing care and assistance to sexual assault survivors.

“Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact and 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted and 1 in 71 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” Lakeland Sexual assault nurse examiner program manager Alyssa Pliml.

The Berrien County Sexual Assault Response Team currently has six advocates, but they’d like more.

Program leaders are looking for both men and women over the age of 18.

People that are interested are encouraged to apply through Lakeland Health, if approved volunteer advocates will have to complete a four day training program at The Avenue Network in Benton Harbor March 2-3 and March 9-10.

Applicants must also be able to travel to all three Lakeland campuses and be prepared to commit to 24 hours per month.

“While the Cora Lamping center and crime victim service takes care of the patient in the long run we have the advocate come into the hospital room with us and pay special attention to our patients while we are doing our nursing exam,” Pliml said.

Program organizers said the program has received a lot of interest so-far that they’re looking to help them expand the program in the near future.

Click here for more info about the program. 

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