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How to Become a Rape Crisis Counselor

Experiencing a rape is emotionally and physically scarring. By training to become a rape crisis counselor, you can help women begin to heal from the trauma of rape.

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  1. Visit the RAINN (Rape, Abuse and **** National Network) website to learn more about the services it provides to rape victims. Volunteers can choose to answer hotline phones, accompany victims to the hospital for rape kit completion or serve as victim advocates in court cases charging the rapists.

  2. Find the openings available in your area by clicking on "Contact a Local Center in Your Area to Learn More." Type in your state or zip code to find the center nearest to you, and click on the center for which you would like to volunteer.

  3. Fill out the provided form by clicking on the boxes next to the positions you are interested in, and then fill out your name and email address so you can be contacted with more information. Training and a criminal-background check will be required once you are selected.

  4. Volunteer for RAINN's online hotline if you want to serve women through the computer or cannot leave your home. Training is performed at centers across the country. Simply fill out the form under "Volunteer for the New Web-Based Online Hotline," and choose the center that is nearest to where you live.

  5. Visit the Planned Parenthood website and use the zip code or state search under "Find a Health Center."

  6. Click on the health-center location that is closest to your home.

  7. Click on the link for the center's official website.

  8. Find the tab marked "Volunteer" to learn more about volunteer opportunities, or call the center at the provided phone number to learn about its services for rape victims. Many Planned Parenthood centers have counseling for rape victims, and some even have local rape crisis hotlines.

  9. Undergo training. Many organizations require rape crisis counselors to participate in crisis-intervention training. This usually covers ways to help victims without making decisions for them.

  10. Agree to a criminal-background check and provide character references if required.

  11. Tip

    Your city or town might have its own resources or center for rape victims, so look for these opportunities as well. Assess your personal and emotional state before trying to become a rape counselor. Rape victims need stable, understanding women to talk with, not those bogged down with their own struggles. If the reason you want to become a rape counselor is because you have been raped yourself, make sure you are ready to take on the problems of other women.


    Never try to handle problems that fall out of your realm of experience and capability. If you ever feel that a rape victim has issues that are too big for you to handle, ask for assistance from your supervisor immediately.

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