Domestic Violence Victim Response Teams

The Domestic Violence Victim Response Team (DVVRT) is a partnership of Womanspace, Inc., Mercer County, New Jersey law enforcement agencies and community members. DVVRT volunteers are trained to meet with victims of domestic violence at police stations to provide information and support at the time of a reported incident or upon request. Becoming a part of the solution to end violence in our communities can be a very rewarding experience and an excellent opportunity to meet others who share the same interest in helping victims of domestic violence.
New Jersey law requires that volunteers be available to victims of domestic violence. Other counties in the state have similar services. For more information, go to the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women Web site. Mercer County has an active team in all 13 municipalities: East Windsor Township, Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hightstown Borough, Hopewell Borough and Township, Lawrence Township, Pennington Borough, Princeton Borough and Township, the City of Trenton, Washington Township and West Windsor Township.

Sexual Assault Support Services Advocates

Sexual Assault Support Services Advocates are volunteer victim advocates who work to enhance the victim-centered approach that is now standard for providing services to sexual assault victims. They provide accompaniment to hospitals in response to crisis calls received by the hotline, from local hospitals, police or the prosecutor’s office. Advocates provide crisis intervention, counseling, emotional support, information and referrals to sexual assault victims and their significant others. They may also be asked to support a survivor through follow-up with medical care and law enforcement proceedings.

General Qualifications for Victim Support Volunteers

• Relate sensitively to victims
• Communicate well with others and be a good listener
• Maintain confidentiality
• Valid driver’s license
• Access to transportation
• Application process includes background check and fingerprinting
• Complete initial 80+ hour training and ongoing training
• DVVRT volunteers and Sexual Assault Support Advocates
• DVVRT and Sexual Assault Advocates must be “on call” at least 2 12-hour shifts per month
• Hotline volunteers must commit to one 4-hour shift per week for a minimum of 6 months
• Bi-lingual individuals, especially those fluent in Spanish, Polish and American Sign Language are encouraged to apply

Hotline volunteers are trained to respond to the many crisis and information seeking calls received on the domestic violence and sexual assault hotlines operated by Womanspace. Hotlines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Volunteers commit to answering the hotline for regular shifts, allowing staff members to focus on client needs.

Administrative Offices
Assist with general office duties in the Administrative Office on Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton or the Counseling and Support Office on Brunswick Pike in Lawrenceville. Daytime weekday hours are available.

Provide childcare at the Counseling and Support Office, the Next Step Program or shelter. Evening hours are most common.

Community Educator
Fulfill speaking requests from civic associations, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, schools and others who are interested in understanding interpersonal abuse and violence. You will become a part of the coordinated community response to support victims and hold abusers accountable for their actions. Specific training is provided.

Event volunteer
Staff tables at community events held around Mercer County, NJ that may include: schools and colleges, civic, social service and faith-based organizations, community events and health fairs.

Legal Services
Family law attorneys, bilingual a plus, to assist with the Womanspace Legal Clinic.

Outreach Committee
Members develop and implement plans to inform the community about domestic and sexual violence and Womanspace services.

Fundraising Committee
Members develop and implement plans to raise money to benefit Womanspace.

Communities of Light™
Members develop and implement the assembly, sales, distribution and lighting of luminary candles each December.

Contact:     Womanspace, Inc.
1212 Stuyvesant Avenue
Trenton, New Jersey 08618
Phone: 609-394-0136
Fax: 609-396-1093
Website: http://www.womanspace.org/