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University of Iowa News Release

May 3, 2005

Training Offered For Volunteers Who Want To Help Sexual Assault Survivors

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) will offer a free, 32-hour series of volunteer training sessions June 6 to June 22 for women interested in helping survivors of sexual assault in Johnson, Cedar, Iowa and Washington counties.

RVAP, which serves those four counties plus the University of Iowa community, needs volunteers to staff two 24-hour crisis hotlines, including the local Rape Crisis Line and the statewide Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline. Volunteers also are needed to provide medical and legal advocacy, support, and information to sexual assault victims. 

RVAP's statewide hotline provides a toll-free number - 800-284-7821 - that victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse and their family members and friends can call for support, information and referrals. Callers in the Iowa City area are encouraged to use the local crisis line - 319-335-6000 - that offers the same assistance.

Training, which is open to any woman over the age of 19, consists of eight sessions held between June 6 and June 22. Weekday sessions generally run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday sessions run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will learn fundamentals of sexual abuse/assault cases, including facts about victim impact and offender typology, and legal, medical, and social issues. They also will receive experiential training to develop skills needed to work with survivors, their family members and their friends. Volunteers are also invited to become involved in the planning and execution of community awareness events and other RVAP activities.

For an informational packet and application, contact RVAP at 319-335-6001 and provide your email address, or email RVAP Volunteer Coordinator Lesa Key at volunteer-coordinator-rvap@uiowa.edu.

More information about RVAP is available online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~rvap/

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu; Program: Lesa Key, RVAP volunteer coordinator, 319-335-6001, volunteer-coordinator-rvap@uiowa.edu