Hi J.S. Matthew,
I can only comment by experience. I was a rape crisis counselor in my community. It took 55 hours of training. After the 55 hours we needed to continue are training throughout each month; in order to still be a qualified Rape Crisis Counselor certified by my State. I could volunteer as much time as I could, and an average shift was 12 hours. I learned many techniques to help, not just families that might show up at the emergency room, but young women coming in with no one to turn to.
People and their families know they can call or walk in and we will be there to help them. There was once a very young child being examined and this little child had no idea what was happening. This child was laughing, smiling and played in the waiting room. However this child's father was very angry and the mother was falling apart. My part in that situation that day was different than calming the 'victim', among other things. I had to calm the parents down (the other victims) and it takes a lot to remain calm yourself.
I'll never forget the time I had to tell a father, during that horrible moment; "killing the person who harmed your child is not going to solve anything, your child needs you now and later." (He wasn't really going to kill anyone he was just devastated.) But he seemed desperate; with this look, as if saying to himself, "I didn't protect you well enough then but I will now".
I had to redirect his desperation, anger and helplessness back to being strong for his child, without minimizing his pain.
This community volunteer organization would not exists if it weren't for volunteers. There would be no advocates for the victims. There could be, easily 40 volunteers constantly rotating 12 hour shifts. Some of us have stayed at the hospital however long it takes. I believe we impacted the community in one of the best ways we could. We treat everyone with dignity, non-judgment and compassion. We help give them the resources they need to cope with this tragedy and we are their for them the whole way.