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University of Iowa News Release

 

Jan. 10, 2007

Jan. 31 is deadline to apply for Rape Victim Advocacy Program training

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) will begin its 32-hour Advocate Training Program Monday, Feb. 4. The program prepares area volunteers to provide support and assistance to victim and survivors of sexual assault. Since training classes are limited to 12 volunteers, interested individuals should apply as soon as possible. The deadline to register is Thursday, Jan. 31. Spanish-speaking volunteers are especially needed.

Over the last year, RVAP has been able to expand services to Spanish speakers by having two fluent Spanish-speaking advocates available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The new service is in addition to available translators.

"We are working on building current services in order to provide a 24-hour Spanish-language hotline," said Tara Wood, RVAP volunteer coordinator. "As a result of this, we have a great need for bilingual volunteer advocates."

After successfully completing the agency's 32-hour training, advocates are prepared to provide support, information and referrals on the local Rape Crisis Line and the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline, as well as respond to calls for supporting a survivor at the hospital or law enforcement agency.

Training covers all aspects of sexual assault, teaches counseling skills, and includes role-plays designed to replicate typical calls received from victim/survivors. RVAP offers thorough and continuous training, feedback and supervision throughout volunteer advocates' service with the agency.

"We are extremely supportive of our advocates and feel that the volunteer program is actually one of the most important services we offer," Wood said.

Those interested in applying for the RVAP Volunteer Program may contact Wood at volunteer-coordinator-rvap@uiowa.edu or 319-335-6001.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tara Wood, RVAP, 319-335-6001, volunteer-coordinator-rvap@uiowa.edu; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077, lois-gray@uiowa.edu