A group in Monmouth County dedicated to reaching out to the victims of sexual assault is reaching out... to you.


(Comstock Photo)
(Comstock Photo)

180 Turning Lives Around is seeking volunteers for its Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).  Victim Program Coordinator Susan Levine says sexual violence is not as uncommon as you might think.

"This is not Hollywood's version of a stranger coming down the dark alley or the dark street.  That's not reality," Levine said.  "Reality is 85 to 90 % of those that we serve in Monmouth County are sexually assaulted by those that they know."

Levine says that can mean anything from date or aquaintance rape to spousal rape - and it leaves a lasting mark on the victims.

"A lot of self-blame goes into this, they feel that no one is going to believe them, especially if it's someone that they know," Levine said.  "Our advocates are specially trained to be able to support someone and understand the trauma that they've been through."

The next 40-hour SART training course runs July 7-July 30, 2015 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6:00pm to 9:30pm) at the Wall Township Police Department.  Levine says successful applicants will be compassionate and caring, and very good listeners.  Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age with a valid driver's license and participate in an interview process and background check.  Bi-lingual capability is also helpful.

To obtain an application for SART training, contact Victim Support Program Assistant Coordinator Tina Morgan at tinam@180nj.org or by phone at 732-264-4360, ext. 4272.

If you or someone you know have been the victim of sexual assault, contact 180 –  24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (888) 264-7273 or dial 911.

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