The North American Maritime Ministry Association was pleased to hold a SAPR program for first responders workshop in March 2017 in parallel to the CMA Shipping conference. This was done in conjunction with a number of partners including the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey, Seafarers International House, and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network. Participants included seafarers’ welfare providers and those who work directly with crews.
Overview: This training was given to build the capacity of ship welfare visitors and those in the maritime industry to assess and respond effectively to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Led by an experienced trainer, Ms. Helen Archontou, the workshop featured lectures that helped understand the wider issues, but also structured small group discussions that helped participants practice skills. The seminar concluded with a presentation of new SAPR materials that were distributed among seafarers’ welfare providers to encourage best practice.
Speaker Bio: Daughter of a merchant mariner, Helen Archontou M.S.W., L.S.W. was named Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Bergen County in July 2011. In this capacity she oversees a a multi-service non-profit organization that is the areas largest provider of childcare services, a recognized leader in health and fitness programs, the sole operator of the county’s only sexual assault hotline/ counseling program and the host of empowerment programming for women and girls. In 2016, the Governor of the State of New Jersey appointed Helen to serve on the State Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault. She has an extensive background in the area of sexual violence through her past work experience at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit and various child protection programs as well as her role as an adjunct professor over the last fifteen years in Montclair State University’s Center for Child Advocacy.
Note: this was a basic, yet full training to identify, respond, and refer. This was not a seminar on counselling interventions.
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