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The Women’s Crisis & Family Outreach Center ;helping to end domestic violence since 1985

By Lynne Marsala Basche

Domestic violence is personal, difficult to speak about, and happens all around us. Statistics show that one in three individuals will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetime. A victim can be male or female and facing physical, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse. Victims need assistance to break the cycle and find relief, and the Women’s Crisis & Family Outreach Center (WCFOC) needs volunteers to support their vision to assist in ending violence in the lives of all people.

What do you want to do? That is the question asked when someone expresses interest in volunteering at the WCFOC. The agency, to the best of their ability, matches up volunteers with their passions. There are opportunities to contribute behind the scenes doing administrative work, as well as opportunities to work with the public at events and community outreach programs. For those interested in helping directly with clients, opportunities include working at the shelter, managing crisis calls, caring for children, and being an advocate.

All volunteers must complete an application, a confidentiality statement, and a three-hour orientation to learn about the WCFOC. Those interested in working directly with clients in any capacity must also complete an additional 12 hours of training and mentoring, as well as pass a background check. The comprehensive training is essential so that volunteers understand the WCFOC, its mission, the services offered, and how to work with clients.

Once training is complete, volunteers can begin working in their chosen capacity. Together with each volunteer, the WCFOC creates schedules that work for them – whether it is a regular weekly day and time or an event-specific opportunity. Lynn Adams, the marketing and outreach coordinator, is quick to point out that programs and services could not be done without the participation of volunteers, and they appreciate whatever time commitment volunteers make.

The rewards of volunteering at the WCFOC are immeasurable. Domestic violence of any kind must be combated, and the stigma associated with it must be replaced with services and support. To learn more about how you can help, visit www.twcfoc.org.

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