YWCA Series to Focus on Rape Victims, Volunteers
Byline: Norlynn Egbert
In early September, the Sexual Assault Services Department of the YWCA DuPage District in Glen Ellyn will conduct two separate series - one for volunteers, the other for survivors of rape.
"We're always looking for males as well as females. They're always accepted (as volunteers)," said Cheri Rozylowicz, victim advocate and volunteer recruiter. "We feel that males have a crucial role in helping to stop violence."
No special degree is necessary for the 40 hours of basic specialized volunteer training, but a good candidate is "someone who is an empathetic and caring individual who wants to work for change in this world," said Rozylowicz.
The sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. three days a week from Sept. 5 through 19 at the YWCA offices, 739 Roosevelt Road, Building 8, Suite 210 in Glen Ellyn.
Instruction covers developmental, social, psychological and cultural dispositions plus prevention, medical and legal aspects of sexual assault and the issues surrounding it. After the initial training, volunteers may choose to specialize in rape crisis counseling, prevention education programs and/or police and court advocacy. College credit is available to those who complete the course.
"They have to have something arranged in advance with their college department head, such as Human Services at the College of DuPage," said Rozylowicz.
Spanish-speaking volunteers and those who are bilingual in any language are always needed, she added. Those who complete the course are qualified to become members of the YWCA's volunteer component DuPage Women Against Rape or DWAR.
"For those unable to attend the weekdays series, a Saturday training schedule is coming in January. It culminates with a weekend away," said Rozylowicz. "The majority of sexual assaults occur through an acquaintance. …