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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 13, 2006

Training Starts Feb. 5 For Sexual Assault Advocates

Training begins Feb. 5, 2007 to prepare area volunteers to provide support and assistance to victims and survivors of sexual assault.

Through the Rape Victim Advocacy Program's 32-hour advocate training, volunteers are taught all aspects of sexual assault including: sociological and cultural factors of a "rape culture," victim impact (physical, psychological, spiritual), helping significant others, offender typology (grooming behaviors and abusive relationships), Rape Trauma Syndrome, childhood sexual abuse, suicide, medical and forensic exams, legal advocacy, and cultural competency.

Throughout training, emphasis is placed on boundaries, ethical issues and the importance of self-care. Advocates are taught aspects of both the active listening model and the Developmental Helping Model of counseling. All volunteers practice these listening and counseling skills in a variety of role-plays designed to replicate typical calls received on our 24-hour crisis lines or in-person calls for medical and legal advocacy.

After successfully completing training, advocates provide support, information and referral 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. Advocates work from home and take shifts that fit easily into their busy schedules.

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

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,; Program: Tara Wood, volunteer coordinator, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, 319-335-6001,