What Does it Take to be a Resilience Volunteer? Commitment. Resolve. Compassion.

Resilience is an Illinois not-for-profit that works to affect positive social change for sexual assault survivors through direct support service and by raising awareness through education and advocacy. And it’s the Resilience volunteers who make all the difference in our work to end sexual violence and help every victim become a survivor. Join us in our stand against sexual violence.

Volunteer Opportunities with Resilience

Thanks to more than 260 Volunteer Medical Advocates, we are able to ensure that survivors who receive emergency treatment at our 17 partner hospitals are never alone. Beyond advocacy, Resilience volunteers do so much more—from collecting and sorting donated clothing to facilitating education and training programs to standing in solidarity with survivors at our annual Standing Silent Witness protest each April. What opportunity is right for you? Contact us to learn more, call 312-443-9603, or apply online today.

Volunteer Medical Advocates

Resilience volunteer advocates are here exclusively to serve the needs of survivors—the sole person on whom survivors can count to protect their rights and ensure consistent, specialized, and humane treatment in the face of such unimaginable trauma.

Roles & Responsibilities

Our advocates are on-call to provide crisis counseling in Chicago’s hospitals. They are the people who answer the page from the hospital emergency room—the caring strangers who arrive to hold an unsteady hand, decipher medical and legal terminology and filter through countless forms and paperwork, all to put victims on the pathway to becoming fully healed. Advocates are required to:

  • Commit to a full year of service
  • Become certified Rape Crisis Counselor (60 hours of training required)
  • Be on-call to provide crisis counseling for at least two 12-hour shifts per month

With the survivor’s permission, advocates are expected to remain with the survivor throughout the medical examination and evidence collection. Crisis intervention counseling will also be provided for the survivor and significant others. When appropriate, advocates will accompany the survivor to the police station to file a report or for interviews by police or prosecutors. If a case is taken to court, a Resilience staff advocate can provide accompaniment and much more for the duration of the legal process, as needed.

Advocates must be 18 years of age or older.

How will I know if this is the right time for me to volunteer at Resilience?

  • It has been at least 1 year since you became personally connected to the issue of sexual violence.
  • It has been at least 1 year since you have stopped receiving services from Resilience or another rape crisis center.
  • If you identify as a survivor, you have processed your experience through counseling or other method and you do not feel a sense of crisis in your daily life.
  • If you identify as a survivor, you can speak to minimally three prior steps that you have taken on the path to healing from the trauma that you’ve experienced.
  • You are not currently struggling with substance use or self-harm.
  • You have a strong support system in place and can identify those whom would be supportive of your volunteer experience with a rape crisis center.
  • You have minimally 24 hours available each month to share with Resilience for 12 months.
  • You feel 100% ready to become an advocate.

Education & Training Volunteers

While our hallmark continues to be the 24-hour crisis counseling, we help to effect positive social change in schools, businesses, and the community at large through our education and training programs.

Roles & Responsibilities

Resilience provides public education to improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors and to effect positive change in policies and public attitudes toward sexual assault. Educators speak at schools, rallies, help train new medical advocates and others working directly with survivors, including medical and law enforcement personnel. Resilience educators are expected to:

  • Complete the 60 hour medical advocacy training
  • Complete additional training, as needed
  • Train new advocates or professionals
  • Give public talks on sexual violence

Resilience’s education and training programs reach hundreds of adult community members and tens of thousands of children and youth throughout Chicago annually.

Educators must be 18 years of age or older.

Short-Term Opportunities: Special Events

Standing Silent Witness is Resilience’s signature event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Volunteers wear t-shirts bearing the stories of sexual assault. For this and other events, we may look for short-term volunteers to help with planning and general fundraising activities.

We also have need speakers for our community outreach programs. These volunteers represent Resilience at public events, like the Vagina Monologue productions, Roller Derby charity nights, and school-based affairs. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring Resilience material is available at the event, and that unused material is returned to Resilience offices. Some events require “safe people” or crisis counselors as well.

Board of Directors

Volunteers and members of the community are welcome to serve on one of many different committees which help meet current needs and determine the future of our organization. There is an application process to become a member of our board.

The Board of Directors is responsible for

  • Ensuring Resilience’s programs and services are consistent with its mission and purpose.
  • Providing proper financial oversight. The board assists in developing Resilience’s annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
  • Ensuring adequate resources, including fundraising, for Resilience to fulfill its mission.
  • Ensuring legal and ethical integrity and maintaining accountability. The board is ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.
  • Ensuring effective organizational planning. The board actively participates in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan’s goals.
  • Recruiting and orienting new board members and assessing board performance.
  • Enhancing Resilience’s public standing. The board clearly articulates the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community.
  • Supporting the Executive Director and assessing her or his performance. The board ensures that the ED has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of Resilience.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an organization that makes a real impact on the lives of sexual assault survivors, their families, and our communities. There is an application process to become a member of our board. To learn more about serving on Resilience’s Board of Directors, please contact Erin Walton, Executive Director, at (312) 443-9603 or via email.

Associate Board

The Associate Board is an inclusive group that supports the work of Resilience while having fun together. Associate Board members attend at least three quarterly meetings per year and join a committee to work on specific tasks and projects. It’s a year-long commitment, with opportunities to take on two-year leadership roles. To learn more about serving on the Associate Board, please contact Erin Walton.


This collaborative campaign led by Between Friends and Resilience was created to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the music scene. We do this work because we believe everyone deserves to feel comfortable and safe when they go to a concert or festival. OurMusicMyBody works with festival and venue staff, musicians, and music fans alike to create fun and consensual music experiences for all. 

Music fans, you can volunteer your time with the OMMB campaign! Volunteers work booths, write articles, organize events, and much more. Volunteers are required to attend a four-hour training and one shadow shift before volunteering freely. Click here to complete a volunteer application and receive more information.

Become a Volunteer Today!

Ready to join our cause and help make a difference?

Apply Online

Upcoming Volunteer Training Dates & Deadlines

Fall 2019
Application Deadline: September 30, 2019
Orientation Session (by invitation only): October 7, 8, or 10, between 5:30PM–9:30PM
Training Dates: October 21–December 2, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 5:30PM–9:30PM
*Training will not be held on 11/19/19, 11/16/19, or 11/28/19*

Winter 2020
Application Deadline: December 27, 2019
Orientation Session (by invitation only): January 6, 8, or 9, between 5:30PM–9:30PM
Training Dates: January 22–February 26, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 5:30PM–9:30PM
*Training will not be held on 1/20/20*

Spring 2020
Application Deadline: April 3, 2020
Orientation Sessions (by invitation only): April 6, 8, or 9, between 5:30PM–9:30PM
Training Dates: April 20–May 27, every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 5:30PM–9:30PM
*Training will not be held on 5/25/20*

Summer 2020
Application Deadline: July 3, 2020
Orientation Sessions (by invitation only): July 6, 7, or 9, between 5:30PM–9:30PM
Training Dates: July 20–August 25, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 5:30PM–9:30PM
*Training will not be held on 7/21/20*

Fall 2020
Application Deadline: October 1, 2020
Orientation Sessions (by invitation only): October 5, 7, or 8, between 5:30PM–9:30PM
Training Dates: October 19–November 23, every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 5:30PM–9:30PM

Download the 2020 Volunteer Training Flyer here.

“Survivors of sexual assault who were assisted by rape crisis center advocates received more medical and legal services, and were less distressed by their interactions with law enforcement and medical personnel.”

Rape Survivors’ Experiences With the Legal and Medical Systems, 2006