All BAWAR SEM advocates are California state-certified rape-crisis counselors. In order to volunteer for the SEM Program, advocates must initially complete BAWAR’s 66-hour training program. Following certification, advocates interested in the SEM Program must go through an additional interview and training process.

What’s Training Like?
BAWAR general trainings are structured in 11-week blocks from 6:00pm-9:00pm Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Family Justice Center in Oakland. Participants who successfully complete the training  will meet the hourly requirement to become State Certified Rape Crisis Counselors. You must be able to attend all sessions. The training itself is FREE. There is a $50.00 fee for training materials.

The SEM Program begins training cohorts twice a year.

What Happens After the Training?
In exchange for the free 66-hour training and certification, we require a commitment to volunteer for BAWAR for 36 hours of on-call time each month, for a period of at least 9 months (your commitment begins the month of your successful completion of the training). During those 36 on-call hours you must be available to take crisis line calls or meet a survivor at the hospital/police station. You will have the flexibility to sign up for shifts that fit into your schedule.

Upon being accepted into the SEM Program, these hours may be extended towards Special Operations and minor-accompaniments.

I’m Interested, What Do I Do Next?
If you are interested in BAWAR training, please fill out our online application. If you are interested in volunteering but have further questions, please contact Howard Bloom at (510)-430-1298 or howard@bawar.org.