Hotline Advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence

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Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 12 people are interested
Certified Advocates

Description & Responsibilities

A hotline advocate provides crisis intervention, domestic violence education, peer support, and community resources to survivors of domestic violence and their allies during a once-weekly shift on our local 24-hour hotline.

Previous experience is not required. Training is included and meets the California legal requirements to be certified as an advocate for domestic violence survivors (California Evidence Code Section ยง1037).

Why It Matters

Current research shows that, in the US, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience some form of abuse from an intimate partner. Domestic violence has a reciprocal relationship with other forms of abuse of power, such as racism, transphobia, and ableism, and it is the primary cause of homelessness among women. It impacts not only the well-being of an individual but also the family, the community, and society as a whole. Because domestic violence is so prevalent, it comes up in areas outside of domestic violence agencies: hospitals, therapists’ offices, substance use recovery programs, homelessness, schools, families, friend groups, corporate workplaces, law enforcement, etc.


  • Understanding of domestic and gendered violence in both the personal and broader political contexts
  • Skill development in crisis intervention
  • Skill development in peer support, emotional support, healthy boundaries, and other interpersonal skills
  • Being a safer, more effective ally for survivors both professionally and personally
  • Knowledge of local resources
  • Additional trainings and professional development opportunities offered by guest speakers at the monthly supervisory meetings
  • Opportunity for academic credit, work experience, and other benefits for future educational or employment options
  • Opportunity for other areas of direct service such as legal advocacy, teen group facilitation, program development, etc.


  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have not received domestic violence services as a participant with Walnut Avenue for a minimum of two years
  • Attend a Walnut Avenue volunteer orientation
  • Pass a fingerprinting/criminal background check
  • Completion of the 40+ hour advocacy certification training (required by California law)
  • Access to privacy and phone reception during your assigned hotline shift
  • An email which is checked regularly
  • Professional verbal and written communication with supervisor
  • Maintain high confidentiality standard
  • Bilingual Spanish encouraged but not required

Time Commitment

  • Commitment to 12 consecutive months of service
  • One weekly shift (9am-5pm or 5pm-9am), taken anywhere you have phone reception and the option for privacy
  • One monthly professional development/supervisory meeting, attended in person (first Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm)

Associated Costs

  • Certification training with commitment to 12 months: $50 materials fee
  • Certification training without commitment to 12 months: $250
  • Standard background check (required for all volunteers): $45
  • Background check for volunteers also providing services for children and teens: $102, with option for reimbursement after 3 months of service

If cost is a barrier for you, please contact the community engagement coordinator to discuss your options without judgment at

To Get Started

The first step is to attend a volunteer orientation at Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center, which happen about twice a month/every two weeks. To hear upcoming dates and times and to register for the one which works best for you, please call our office at (831) 426-3062.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, you may visit our site here or contact our community engagement coordinator, Marjorie Coffey (they/them), at


It is the policy of Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center to provide equal employment, volunteer opportunities and services to participants (EEO) to all persons regardless of ancestry, age, color, national origin, disability (physical and mental, includes HIV and AIDS), genetic information, race, religion (includes religious dress and grooming), gender, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran, request for FMLA or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

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About Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center


303 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, US

Mission Statement

To provide support and services so that women, children and families have the opportunities and skills to thrive.


The Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center is a strength-based family center that provides comprehensive support and services. Our agency has four core programs:

  • Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence
  • Services for Children & Youth
  • Early Childhood Education Center
  • Community Relations Department
Advocacy & Human Rights
Crisis Support


We'll work with your schedule.


303 Walnut AvenueSanta Cruz, CA 95060




  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • A 12-month commitment involving a weekly hotline shift (taken anywhere) and a monthly in-person supervisory meeting.
  • Successful completion of the 40+ hour certification training, offered twice a year starting in April and October.

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