Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear RVAP supporters,

We are all in the midst of responding appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic as it spreads in our communities.  At RVAP, we are committed to doing our part in keeping our communities safe.  We remain committed to serving victims/survivors of sexual violence seamlessly even as we strive to keep ourselves safe and in good physical, emotional, and mental health.

We also urge everyone to consider this a threat on a community level and not only on an individual one, thus keeping a collective goal of public growth and development in mind.  Toward that end, we are making the following changes to our services in compliance with guidance from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Iowa.

Please be assured of the following starting today, Wednesday, March 18:

  • RVAP will provide 24/7 in-person advocacy support during hospital and law enforcement accompaniment only.
    • All other advocacy, counseling, and therapy will be offered by phone and/or Skype.
  • RVAP’s offices in Burlington, Iowa City, Keokuk, and Mount Pleasant will be closed. Advocates continue to provide free & confidential support remotely.
  • Because most criminal and civil jury trials have been postponed in Iowa, advocates will work with victims/survivors on addressing legal appointments in an efficient and effective manner. The same approach will be taken with medical advocacy, employment issues, housing needs, including shelters, and access to government benefits.
  • Advocates will continue to coordinate and co-advocate remotely with other service providers as much as possible.
  • For those seeking assistance for the first time, our advocates welcome your call (319-335-6000 or 800-228-1625).
  • All RVAP events and training workshops have been suspended until further notice. However, our prevention and outreach projects will be shifted online and provided through digital technologies, such as webinars and social media.

We will remain in touch and keep you updated about RVAP as we move forward. Please call, follow our social media pages, and check our website for updates.  We wish you all the very best.

With Gratitude,

Rape Victim Advocacy Program