Description & History

Our volunteers provide crisis intervention, advocacy, and support during an emergency room visit for survivors of sexual assault.  This includes working with medical staff on expediting the process, remaining present with the survivor throughout the entire ER visit which can take any where from 2 hours to 12 (average is 5), providing advocacy with the police and accompanying the survivor through the first interview with detectives at the hospital, and being physically present during the forensic rape examination if the survivor chooses to have the advocate there.

In order to a be an advocate in our program, one must complete a lengthy application and hospital clearance process and 40 hours of Department of Health training conducted by our staff.  The 40 hours of training includes; speakers from the District Attorney's Office, Police, survivors and other service providers working with specific populations.  Additionally, there will be role plays on interacting with survivors and presenting them with all the options available to them in the ER which requires that our advocates learn a basic understanding of these options. 

Our program seeks advocates over age 18, who can be on call for 2 ER shifts a month (shifts are M-F 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning and Sat, Sun and holiday's 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.), they must live within a 30 minute taxi ride from the hospital (cost of the cab is reimbursed over time), and advocates must commit to being on call for at least 18 months after training is complete and they have been cleared from the volunteer department. We also ask our applicants to provide a copy of their resume and two letters of references on the date they interview.


Training dates:

Wednesdays, March 25 and April 1, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Thursdays, March 26 and April 2, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturdays, March 28 and April 4, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sundays, March 29 and April 5, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About the organization

Bellevue Hospital Victim Services Program

Danielle Elleman
Volunteer Coordinator
(212) 562-8280
Francis Vazquez
Coordinating Manager
(212) 562-3755
Organization’s website: