Rape crisis volunteers who provide direct-care services to victims of sexual assault are a much-understudied group. Volunteers provide a crucial role in support of nonprofit rape crisis centers, and factors influencing their continued service are an important consideration for decision makers. In the present study, the authors examined--among volunteers providing hospital and crisis-line advocacy to victims of sexual assault--the training, service self-efficacy, social support, and experiences with victim blaming as correlates with overall satisfaction, affective commitment, and the intent to remain. Overall satisfaction and affective commitment were positively related to the intent to stay. Additionally, the perceived value of training was positively related to overall satisfaction and the intent to remain
Journal of Social Psychology
n this study, researchers looked at factors associated with volunteer satisfaction, commitment, and intent to continue volunteering. Twenty-eight sexual violence crisis hotline and hospital advocate volunteers filled out mail-in surveys. Satisfied volunteers were more likely to report intending to remain in their positions. Compared with less satisfied volunteers, satisfied volunteers reported higher levels of feelings of competence, social support, and emotional attachment to the agency. They also reported finding monthly agency meetings more valuable and had lower levels of exposure to victim blaming from other service providers. This is a very small sample, but it reaches the same conclusions as previous research. The authors recommended on-going training for volunteers, including skills-building to confront victim-blaming among other service providers. By addressing these issues, volunteers may be more satisfied, which may lead to better retention.
Advocate self-care; rape crisis centers; victim services