180 Turning Lives Around seeks volunteers to aid domestic violence victims
180 Turning Lives Around is a non-profit organization in Monmouth County who provides support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence. Volunteers are a major factor in their support. Right now, they need your help.
"We're looking for members of the community that are concerned about the domestic violence issue as a whole," said Victim Support Program Coordinator Susan Levine.
If you're a good listener, you might be an ideal candidate for their Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT).
"Our advocates respond directly to police headquarters, to provide victim-centered, informed care," said Levine. "It's completely confidential."
She adds that on-call volunteers are especially valuable. Applications can be found on their website or through Tina Morgan, Assistant Victim Support Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732 264-4360, Ext. 4272.
The application process is methodical. Those who meet the standards undergo 40 hours of mandatory training, October 4 through 27, at the Wall Township Police Department. Once teams are assembled, supervisors meet monthly.
"There's also an interview process with the program coordinators and our liaison officer from the local police department in the hometown of the resident," said Levine. "The police department also does background checks."
The organization partners with local and state police. When a victim appears at headquarters, investigators reach on-call advocates directly. Levine estimates that only about 20 minutes elapse from the initial call, to team activation, to advocate response.
Despite the high profile given to domestic abuse victims and support systems through incidents involving celebrities such as pro football players, Levine admits that incidents remain hard to track because many remain behind closed doors.
"We are grateful that people do come forward," said Levine. "We're grateful to our advocates who are able to be there when someone does come forward."
The organization also adds that If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic violence or sexual violence, you can call the 180 Turning Lives Around Confidential Hotline at 732-264-4111 or 888-843-9262, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.