Direct service advocates work directly with clients. An advocate is potentially the first person to tell a survivor of sexual abuse, “I believe you” and the first person to affirm, "It's not your fault." In addition to responding to the immediate needs of survivors, advocates learn professional and practical interpersonal skills while gaining valuable experience beneficial within the fields of social work, law, medicine, and psychology, among others. Direct service advocates must complete 32 hours of training before they are able to volunteer. 

Direct Service Volunteer Expectations 

  • Provide interpersonal support to survivors in hospitals and police stations
  • Be available for dispatch any time an individual discloses sexual abuse at the following seven locations: University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC), Iowa City Mercy Hospital, UI Public Safety, Iowa City Police Department, Coralville Police 
  • Respond to the needs of any support people present (friends, family, partners, etc)
  • Pick up materials from RVAP the day of their shift and return materials the following business day


  • Be at least 18 years old and not currently attending high school
  • Pass background check
  • Have access to reliable transportation
  • Respond to the location within 20 minutes of the call
  • Volunteer 3 shifts per month
  • Commit to volunteer for one year

Apply to volunteer here!