In just a few weeks, it will be time to kick off REACH’s fall training for volunteers, new hires, and anyone else who’s interested. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering for REACH, or just want to learn more about domestic violence, this training is an excellent opportunity. But what exactly is involved?
The training runs from Tuesday, September 1st – Tuesday October 20th, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm, with one all-day Saturday session on October 3rd. It is geared toward new staff and volunteers for the agency, but we also welcome staff and volunteers from other agencies as well as people who are just interested in learning more about domestic violence. Different members of REACH’s staff will present on various topics, ranging from the basics about domestic violence and the barriers that survivors face when trying to leave an abusive relationship, to the effects of trauma, to the history of the DV movement, the effects of DV on children who witness it, and much more. At some point, attendees will be able to hear from a survivor speaker who has accessed REACH’s services about how many of these training topics applied to a real-life situation.
People sometimes wonder at the beginning of training why we schedule so many sessions and devote so many hours to orienting people to this work. But by the end, inevitably, participants are telling us which topics they would like more information on, and which sessions could have been longer! Some people who plan to come for only one or two sessions on specific topics end up coming back for additional meetings.
We collect feedback after each session and constantly take into account what we are hearing, so that sessions can be adapted to fit the preferences and learning styles of the group. This newest round of training includes an additional session on what trauma looks like, and includes discussion of both mental health and substance abuse.
Here are a few quotes from individuals who went through the training this past spring:
“It’s starting to become more real that these horrific things actually happen to people and not just something we see on TV. I found my heart beating very fast while hearing specific stories about victims or cases.”
“I loved the range and depth of presentations. Great inclusion of different dynamics and an openness to questions and different levels of experience and understanding.”
“Through the sharing and discussions I gained new insights and awareness that was profound.”
There are only a few spots left, but there’s still time to get in on the training. Visit https://reachma.org/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/ and download a volunteer application to fill out and return to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you in the fall!