Volunteer Training Q & A

What volunteer opportunities are available if I join the Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention (SACI) Team?

SACI volunteers enrich the community by providing crucial crisis intervention services, and they also gain valuable, practical skills to benefit their professional and personal lives. There are many great opportunities for SACI volunteers:

  • 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: Volunteers operate a 24-hour, confidential crisis line. SACI volunteers provide crisis intervention, support, and resources to individuals calling the 24-hour crisis line.
  • Crisis Chat: Volunteers respond to our Crisis Chat service available from 10am-10pm everyday on our website. SACI volunteers provide crisis intervention, support, and resources to individuals using the chat. Learn more about our Crisis Chat service.
  • In-Person Crisis Advocacy: Volunteers meet survivors at the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program or residence halls on MSU’s campus to provide crisis intervention, support services, and accompaniment throughout a medical forensic exam. Crisis Advocates provide critical resources, information, referrals, and linkage to follow up care and ongoing supportive services. Crisis Advocates work effectively alongside other providers such as medical staff, social workers, and law enforcement. Learn more about the MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program.
  • Safe Space: SACI volunteers also staff safe spaces on and around MSU’s campus for different events throughout the year. They are able to provide emotional support and resources to survivors and co-survivors who might be triggered during an event.
  • Peer Education & Outreach: SACI volunteers strongly believe in rape prevention through peer education. Volunteers staff resource tables and fairs throughout campus, provide education through workshops and outreach events, and foster collaborations with other organizations in the community. Volunteers also staff safe spaces during campus and community events.
  • Some of our annual outreach activities includes Take Back the Night, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and MSU's It's On Us Week of Action. SACI works with other campus & community organizations to raise awareness about sexual violence.

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 find a way 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. If you have received services from our program we ask that one year has elapsed before applying to volunteer with our program. Any concerns should be addressed before training begins with the Volunteer Coordinator.

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
  • relationship violence
  • campus & community resources
  • law enforcement
  • medical treatment
  • supportive communication
  • crisis intervention
  • safety planning 

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:

  1. Complete a volunteer application, background check, and student conduct clearance check (if applicable)
  2. Complete the 40-hour Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention (SACI) Advocate Training
  3. Attend SACI volunteer meetings and in case of conflict by appointment with the Volunteer Coordinator
  4. Sign up for two service shifts a month
  5. One year commitment
  6. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, we ask that one year has elapsed since receiving services from the MSU Center for Survivors before applying to volunteer with our program.

I have other questions that aren't answered here. Where I can I find out more?

Kathryn Naber
Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (517) 353-1669

The Center for Survivors Office
Phone: (517) 355-3551

Should you need to speak with a sexual violence advocate, please call our 24-hour hotline: (517) 372-6666.