Violence Prevention & Intervention Volunteer Training Program
Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) offers the life-changing Violence Prevention and Intervention Volunteer Training Program three times per year (winter, spring and fall). Sessions are held every Friday from 10am-4pm.
This Program is offered to women, femmes, and transfeminine people who want to obtain the necessary skills to contribute to end gender-based violence.
BWSS follows a popular education model for our highly-recognized training. We work from a feminist, anti-oppression perspective and recognize the importance of working from a decolonizing and intersectional framework. We provide skills-based training grounded in a strong theoretical framework for understanding sexualized, intimate partner, gender-based violence, and systemic oppression. Participants in training gain skills in crisis intervention, peer counselling, safety assessment, safety planning, advocacy, referrals, group facilitation, and public education.
After completing the training, weekly Crisis & Intake Line volunteer shifts are required to be filled. If you are working, attending school, and/or have other commitments, you will have to adjust your schedule to accommodate a weekly volunteer shift. (There will be some additional opportunities for you to volunteer during evenings and weekends in other programs).
Through this inclusive, intensive training, participants will acquire knowledge and skills related to:
Theoretical framework of violence against girls, women, femmes, transfeminine and 2SLGBTQI+ survivors of gender-based violence.
Trauma-informed crisis intervention.
Safety assessment, lethality assessment, and safety planning.
Introduction to criminal, family, and immigration law.
Feminist, intersectional, and decolonizing practices.
Impacts of colonization, assimilation, and residential schools.
Understanding the spectrum of gender-based violence.
The topics covered in the training are intense and require personal exploration. Please look over the calendar (included with the application package) to ensure you understand the intensity of the topics/training.
The training is facilitated as much as possible from a popular education model requiring a high level of participation from everyone. Training is provided online and at the BWSS office in Vancouver. Participation is expected in both large group and small group settings. The full Statement of Commitment can be downloaded here.
All those who volunteer with BWSS provide crisis support and direct services are first required to complete the volunteer training.
Participation is also required in terms of attendance. Only one session can be missed. If you know in advance that you may have to miss more than one session, we recommend that you apply for the next training session.
Many volunteers continue their volunteer work at BWSS well beyond their minimum hour commitment, but in total, we require a minimum of a 9 month commitment from volunteers in several areas. The main volunteer areas are outlined as follows:
- Crisis Line & Intake
Volunteers are required to fulfill a nine-month volunteer commitment with a minimum of 1 shift per week on the Crisis & Intake lines, in addition to shifts/hours allocated to court accompaniments, interpretation, support group co-facilitation, participation in events, and ongoing education.
Practicum – Volunteers start their practicum on the Crisis and Intake Line nearing the end of the training. Volunteers are to complete a supervised practicum. This includes a minimum of 3 shadowing shifts, during which volunteers observe other Crisis Line & Intake Volunteers, ask questions, and become orientated to internal procedures.
Direct Services – Following the practicum direct services are required. This will mostly be completed on the Crisis & Intake Line and may also include providing court accompaniment, interpretation, and other support as needed within our direct service programs. As part of these hours, volunteers can also co-facilitate support groups.
- Violence Prevention and Education Program
- BWSS believes that ending gender-based violence requires not only providing crisis and support services but also engaging in violence prevention work. This includes delivering workshops and presentations in a variety of community settings. BWSS also participates in events, information fairs, festivals, and community activities to promote our programs and services and to educate the public about violence against women and girls. BWSS is committed to social activism and we have a presence at many related events and rallies. These hours can be used to attend such events, provide outreach and education, and work on special projects. Volunteers are required to contribute 20 hours of their volunteer commitment in this area.
- Ongoing Training
- Once the 12-week training is complete, volunteers are required to participate in ongoing training to continue building practical knowledge and skills. Volunteer commitment can be completed by attending monthly Volunteer Networking Meetings, BWSS training opportunities, or working on special projects as needed. The allotment of these hours will be agreed upon with the Crisis Line and Intake Coordinator during training based on the needs of BWSS and the particular needs and expertise of volunteers.
- Community Awareness Fundraising Program
- The Community Awareness Fundraising Program includes fulfilling face-to-face street fundraising events and attending fundraising events.
We receive more applications for the training than we can accommodate and we need to ensure participant’s readiness and suitability for the training and volunteer work. After we receive applications, we will take some time to review them.
Please be advised that only shortlisted applicants will be called for interviews which are a required part of our screening process.
Apply for the Violence Intervention & Prevention Volunteer Training Program
We believe strongly that both education and training remain vital to our work to end gender-based violence. Tell us about your experiences, beliefs, and skills that make you a suitable candidate for participating in our training program.
Thank you for your interest.
To receive more information about the BWSS Volunteer Training Program please call 778-238-3935 or 604-687-1868 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our training program is well recognized in the anti-violence community and we look forward to your possible involvement with us!