Want to Get Involved and Help Sexual Violence Victims? (The Montreal Sexual Assault Center)
by Naomie Tat on March 7, 2017 - 9:18pm
Want to volunteer while offering help and support to victims of sexual violence?
About the Center:
The Montreal Sexual Assault Center, which values openness, expertise, partnership, and respect, believes that "all victims of sexual assault are entitled to the psychosocial, medical and legal assistance they need at the moment they request it". Since its creation in 1983, the mission of the MSAC is to provide a safe and alternative bilingual place for people affected by sexual assault to express themselves, be heard and be supported according to their needs and choices. The organization offers assistance for people through their crisis line and toll-free helpline (1-888-933-9007). The line is open and available twenty-four hours a day and 7 days a week to sexual assault victims of all ages, survivors, relatives of victims, professionals, community organization workers, as well as any person who wants to get informed on the issue. In the past decade, the Center has trained more than 700 volunteers who have answered thousands of calls.
Through answering phone calls of the MSAC crisis line, offer support, expertise and active listening to victims of all ages (sexual abuse, harassment, and incest), survivors, relatives, professionals, community organization workers, etc.
* Once the training is done, volunteers can work from home.
The MSAC recruit volunteers twice a year (in January and in August). Those volunteers will, then, have to complete a 35-hour training process.
In order to qualify for the volunteer selection process, the Montreal Sexual Assault Center asks that you be:
- a female (18 and over)
- fluent in both English and French
- in agreement with the commitments required by the Center (for more details, read the PDF provided below)
- available for training and a selection interview (with the crisis line coordinator)
Here is a link to the PDF that thoroughly describes the crisis line volunteer position (provided on the MSAC website): https://aso.sdpinc.ca/Fichiers_Joints/Crisis%20line%20volunteer.pdf
---- The selection requirements are rather strict and the training process is quite long, because of the demanded task and the responsibilities that the volunteer will have. The Center believes that since it is mainly for women, having female volunteers would make victims and other callers feel more comfortable and less intimidate to express themselves. Having women with different skills and experiences also allows the crisis line to be more diverse. Each volunteer brings something unique to the line.
Alternative Ways To Help:
If you do not qualify to become a volunteer, you may also donate to the MSAC (http://www.cvasm.org/en/faire-don).
As the number of sexual crimes that occur in and around Montreal increases, volunteering at centers, as well as other places that offer support to sexual assault, harassment and abuse victims becomes more and more important.
To Get Involved:
Call: (514) 934-0505 (ext. 7456)
For more information, go to http://www.cvasm.org/en/impliquer
Here are a few links to news articles that talk about the work of the Montreal Sexual Assault Center, as well as its partners:
********* According to this CBC News article, 36.9 percent of students from the six main Quebec French universities have been the victim of some form of sexual violence at school.