Next ACT is postponed
Our next Advocate Core Training has been postponed until January 2020. More info will be announced when available.

Becoming a part of the SafePlace volunteer program requires a commitment, not just of your time, but also of your energy, in the fight to end violence and oppression in our community.  There are a variety of ways in which you can choose to give your time. Once you are accepted into the training class, you will work with the Volunteer Program Coordinator to find the volunteer position that is best for you.

Our next Advocate Core Training (ACT) will start in January 2020 – exact dates forthcoming. Our October ACT has been postponed. SafePlace holds three ACTs per year, and volunteers are only interviewed, trained, approved, and accepted during our three sessions. Typically, ACTs are held January, May, and October each year. You can see the training schedule here. If you are interested in volunteering with us, take a look around the volunteer section of our website, then submit a completed application. 


Below are some of the requirements for volunteers at SafePlace.  Please review the expectations to decide if our program is a good fit for you:

  • Potential volunteers must complete an application, background check, disclosure, and reference forms.
  • Potential volunteers must complete the interview process, and receive approval to attend the ACT from the Volunteer Program Coordinator.
  • Agree to a one year commitment of service.
  • Potential volunteers must be willing to meet training requirements as specified below:
    • DIRECT SERVICE: Complete the SafePlace initial training, and 30 hours of ongoing training after one year of service
    • SUPPORT SERVICE: Complete 17 hours of initial training
    • ALL VOLUNTEERS: Must have the ability to work with people of different races, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual preferences, abilities, etc.

Training Fees

  • $35 – Individuals who commit to one year of volunteer service with SafePlace.
  • $350 – Individuals who are training on issues of domestic and sexual violence to become volunteer advocates on their campus, with their faith community, or within their community organizations AND  non-profit community partners that have current memos of understanding on file with SafePlace.
  • $500 – Students with valid identification AND non-profit community partners that do not have current memos of understanding on file with SafePlace.
  • $1,200 – Professionals and others who are meeting individual needs.

What is covered in the SafePlace Advocate Core Training (ACT)?

SafePlace offers a comprehensive 48-hour training on sexual and domestic violence. The ACT is accredited by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP) to give people the skills to work directly with survivors of domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA). Our curriculum is reflective of current best and evidence-based practices and covers general, medical, and legal advocacy skills. This work is rooted in an anti-oppression framework and, as such, we include cultural competency training and the basics of working with marginalized populations. We explore the areas where oppression intersects with individuals’ experiences of DV/SA, and how anti-oppression work connects to service provision and advocacy with both individuals and systems.

Day 1 – Intro and Values

  • SafePlace services, philosophy, mission, core values, and history
  • Brief overview of women’s rights movements and establishment of DV/SA service programs
  • Values & assumptions: what they are, how we define them
  • Confidentiality
  • Trauma theory

Day 2 – Anti-Oppression

  • Diversity and cultural competency
  • Intersection of identities with experiences of SA/DV
  • Marginalized populations and service accessibility
  • Social justice: what it is and how an anti-oppressive framework helps us get there

Day 3 – SA Facts

  • Basics of SA: What it is, who is impacted, how often does it happen
  • Myths and facts of SA
  • Definitions: legal definition, SafePlace’s definition
  • Popular media review: how does the media respond to SA and what influence does that have both on our perceptions of SA survivors and on their ability to access services

Day 4 – DV Facts

  • Basics of DV: What it is, who is impacted, how often does it happen
  • Definitions: legal definition, SafePlace’s definition
  • Power and control & the spiral of violence
  • DV Prevention & treatment
  • “What would you do” video screening & bystander intervention
  • Popular media review: how does the media respond to DV and what influence does that have both on our perceptions of DV survivors and on their ability to access services

Day 5 – Dynamics of SA:

  • Childhood SA & incest
  • Cultural norms tolerating abuse of children
  • Adult survivors
  • Male survivors & barriers to accessing services
  • Effects of SA and cultural considerations in service provision
  • Secondary survivors

Day 6 – Effects of DV on Youth

  • Emotional and behavioral impacts
  • DV and parenting
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Abuse vs. discipline
  • Teen dating violence
  • Technology & abuse

Day 7 – Advocacy I

  • Listening and communication
  • Crisis intervention
  • The rescue triangle and empathy vs. sympathy
  • Advocacy-based counseling
  • Active skill building and role play scenarios

Day 8 – Advocacy II

  • Safety planning
  • How to respond to flashbacks
  • Suicide intervention
  • Active skill building and role play scenarios
  • Connections: How to apply lessons from anti-oppression & social justice in your advocacy with individuals and systems

Day 9 – Legal I – Civil Legal Systems

  • Role of a legal advocate
  • Difference between civil and criminal legal systems
  • Protective Orders: how to get them and what they can and cannot do
  • Civil remedies: employment, education, and housing
  • Legal options for immigrant survivors
  • Active skill building and role play scenarios

Day 10 – Legal II – Criminal Legal Systems

  • Review: role of legal advocate, civil vs. criminal
  • Legal terms and definitions
  • Criminal justice process
  • Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights
  • Criminal DV: State vs. perpetrator, mandatory arrest law, no-contact orders
  • Victim defendants

Day 11 – SARP (Sexual Assault Response Program) & Medical Advocacy

  • Sexual assault exams
  • Medical advocacy
  • Working with trafficked individuals
  • Injuries, STIs, pregnancy, medical evidence
  • Crime victim’s compensation
  • SARP advocates role
  • Working with other service providers

Day 12 – Outro: Boundaries and Self-Care

  • Understanding challenging client behavior
  • Safety for DV/SA advocates
  • Boundaries
  • Vicarious trauma
  • Self-care
  • Local resources and SP client forms