Helpline Training

The Helpline Volunteer will provide up to date, accurate and impartial information and emotional support to survivors and supporters of Rape and Sexual Violence. You will need to respond sensitively to all those who call. You will be part of a team that is committed to continuous improvement and will regularly contribute to the development of the service in order to meet our callers needs and expectations.

RCNE Helpline Service is a “lifeline” for many survivors of rape and sexual abuse who need to talk to someone who truly cares. Therefore it is essential that all our helpline volunteers are properly trained to listen, to support and to offer information and counselling support to callers who use the helpline.
Our helpline is a free confidential, listening and support service for women, men and young people who have been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, or sexually abused at any time in their lives whether as children, teenagers or adults..
We also take calls from anyone who wishes to talk about the effects of sexual violence including family and friends of the survivor or from other agencies who may need our support.

Main purpose of the role

  • Provide high quality information and support in an empathic and professional approach to all who contact us on the helpline.
  • Accurate and timely data capture of enquiries working alongside agreed measures required by the helpline.
  • To ensure that all calls are followed up with the appropriate call back procedures.
  • Work within, and regularly input to, the policies and processes in place for the service.
  • Escalate difficult issues, queries or complaints in a timely and appropriate way and take responsibility for any ongoing actions to ensure issue/query/complaint is resolved.
  • Receive regular group supervision from a qualified counsellor / supervisor provided by RCNE along with one to one support from the centre manager.
  • Participate in on-going training and development.


  • Complete the required training to become a helpline volunteer.
  • Good level of listening skills is essential and a good level of verbal communication to both callers in crisis & professionals.
  • Awareness of dealing with at risk clients and issues surrounding sexual violence.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of maintaining confidentiality.
  • Demonstrate your ability to answer the helpline in a non-judgemental, empathetic, warmth and caring attitude demonstrating genuineness and respect for the caller.

We use the same qualities, attitudes, values and skills that are important to face-to-face counselling to our helpline .

Please Post completed application forms to:
Rape Crisis North East,
PO BOX 72,
Co. Louth.

Or email completed application forms to:

The basic commitment to the Rape Crisis Centre is: 4 hours per week, One / two year commitment.

Dr. Michelle Walsh – RCNI Helpline Trainer:
Dr. Michelle Walsh, is the  Project Lead  on this Clinical Innovation Project at Rape Crisis Networks Ireland, she completed her PhD within the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre in NUI Galway,  where she undertook a  nationwide study which looked at the effects and Understanding  of Sexual Harassment among the Irish Adolescent population. Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Supervision and professional practice and is also a fully accredited psychotherapist and clinical supervisor.  She has been worked as an extern on the REAL U project for several years, delivering the training on the module on SEX and the LAW, in addition to delivering trainings on sexual violence and consent to a wide variety of audiences in the last number of years.   Michelle also works for Rape Crisis Midwest as a counsellor,  counsellor trainer  and former board member.  Additionally, Michelle has  trained support workers for the SATU service, (sexual assault treatment unit), in Limerick. She is aware of the many of issues faced by Clinicians who work with and Survivors who have experienced sexual violence, furthermore she has been working with clients and her colleagues since the onset of Covid 19 and therefore is also aware of the personal and professional challenges faced by many in this sector when trying to work remotely on a daily basis.    She is both knowledgeable and passionate about sexual, domestic and gender-based violence and doing anything she can to prevent it. 

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