About the AmeriCorps Victims Assistance Program
Each year, SHARPP employs a member from the New Hampshire AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP). The program consists of 4 types of positions: crisis center advocates, law enforcement advocates, child advocacy center advocates and college/university advocates. At SHARPP, AVAP members fulfill the responsibilities of the college/university advocate, as well as crisis center advocate. In the SHARPP AVAP position, members are on the front-line for direct service, where they will be able to provide crisis intervention, medical and legal accompaniment, emotional support and resources to survivors of stalking, sexual, and relationship abuse. The SHARPP AVAP member also assists in prevention eduation and outreach to the campus community through programming and events.
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national program which recruits young people throughout the United States to provide community service through full-time volunteer positions that address a variety of social issues. AmeriCorps members gain new skills and valuable experience helping others while working towards an educational award to help pay for prior or future schooling. AmeriCorps consists of three major programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps).
Can you tell me more about AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP)?
AVAP is a statewide volunteer program (under the AmeriCorps State and National program) that places its members in crisis centers, police departments, and state prosecution offices throughout the state of New Hampshire. Started in 1994, AVAP members have been assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking for over 17 years. AVAP members provide their service through full-time positions which consists of 1700 hours of community service throughout a year.
AVAP members start their service year in September. The first two weeks of the program are spent in trainings which cover a wide range of topics, including Sexual Assault 101, Domestic Violence 101, Civil Laws and Processes, Criminal Law and Processes, Vicarious Trauma and many more. After the two-week training is completed, members begin working at their services sites, coming back together for additional trainings at once-a-month team meetings. Additionally, AVAP members facilitate the statewide Clothesline Project which displays on the State House lawn in Concord every April for Victim Rights day.
How can I become a AVAP member at SHARPP?
If you are at least 18 years old, have a commitment to community service, and an interest in the issues SHARPP deals with, you could be a future AVAP member! AVAP is a great way to build your resume with commuity service while also aiding survivors of sexual violence, relationship abuse and stalking.
Applications for AVAP are accepted the beginning of January. If you are choosen, the service year typically begins in the first full week of September and concludes the following September. Most placements are across the state of New Hampshire in crisis centers, law enforcement offices, child advocacy centers, and college and university campuses. If you can't commit to an entire year of service, there are also part-time positions available. For information on applying, call the AVAP office at (603) 224-6466.
Does AVAP pay it's members?
AVAP members receive a weekly living stipend, health care benefits, childcare benefits, hands-on experience, loan forbearance, and an educational award applicable to existing student loans or future educational expenses upon completion of the program.