The training is required in Dr. Alison Foley’s Intimate Partner Violence course for graduate students in the Master of Public Administration program. For the first time, the training is being opened up to the community at large.
“We thought if we hold it on campus, it might be more convenient for the students,” she said.
The training includes a discussion of all of the services SafeHomes provides, as well as a primer on what domestic violence is and who qualifies to receive their services.
Another portion of the training includes an activity called “Why doesn’t she leave?” which Foley said many students consider the most memorable and powerful part of the training.
“It’s kind of a role-playing group activity where the people who are participating are given different scenarios and presented with a series of challenges, and they’re asked to move to a certain part of the room that’s associated with what decision they think they would make if they were in that scenario,” Foley said.
The exercise illustrates the challenges facing victims who choose to leave an abuse situation, such as lack of finances, fear of retribution by the abusive partner and safety of the children.
The remainder of the training is done online. Foley incorporates the training into her curriculum, but community members who wish to participate can complete the online portion at their leisure.
The training will prepare volunteers to aid SafeHomes’ mission in a number of ways, such as by cooking and/or delivering meals, providing child care, leading games and activities, or providing office help.
“I ask that people RSVP to me via email so that I have a sense of how many will be there,” Foley said.
The training will be held in Allgood Hall, Room E253.
Volunteers who are interesting in helping but can’t make the training can reach out to SafeHomes directly by filling out a volunteer application on their website.
Augusta University will host a Survivors Walk at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in support of SafeHomes and victims of domestic violence.