Berks Women in Crisis will offer the fall session of its 60-hour educational seminar on domestic and sexual violence beginning on Sept. 10 and running through Nov. 19, 2009.

The course is open to the public, and those who work in social service and counseling agencies or medical facilities are encouraged to participate.

All new staff members are required to complete the seminar, as are potential volunteers who would like to participate in delivering direct victim services such as answering hotline calls, working in the shelter, and medical accompaniment. BWIC has identified a special need for volunteers who speak Spanish; if you are interested in volunteering and you are bi-lingual, we encourage you to join this seminar.

The seminar consists of 20 three-hour sessions which include an introduction to BWIC and its services and covers topics such as basic domestic and sexual violence information, childhood sexual violence, how domestic violence affects children of all ages, legal issues, counseling (feminist philosophy and advocacy), hotline information, issues of oppression, drug and alcohol issues, development of active and reflective listening skills, systems advocacy and medical issues.

Presenters are experienced BWIC staff members and members of the professional community who speak about their specific areas of expertise. The sessions take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, from 9 a.m. until noon.

All training sessions will be held in the training room at Gage Personnel, 101 N. Seventh Street in West Reading.

The fee for the seminar is $50, which covers the cost of the training manual and supplies. Upon completion of the seminar, participants who meet the qualifications of the agency may volunteer in direct service areas.

For additional information, auditing specific classes, requesting an application for enrollment in the seminar, or for inquiries about other ways to volunteer for Berks Women in Crisis, please call Karen in PeaceWorks at 610-373-1206, or email us at

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