New Domestic Violence Hotline Available for Students

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New Domestic Violence Hotline Available for Students

Art by Zoë Butler and Olivia Lusala

Art by Zoë Butler and Olivia Lusala

Art by Zoë Butler and Olivia Lusala

Olivia Baird and Liam McComas

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One out of every six American women will be raped or has been attempted to be raped in her lifetime and 79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend, or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school. Rape and Sexual Harassment is often an issue in middle and high schools.

ICCSD has recently partnered with RVAP, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, at the University of Iowa to create a poster campaign on sexual harassment in the schools of Iowa City. The campaign is advertising the newly established text line for students to anonymously share their stories and seek the help and closure they need along with simply bring the problem of sexual harassment to discussion in the schools.

“As people start talking about it or if people have experiences with using the service that are positive, the word’s going to spread.” Susan Junis said, the Assistant Director of Prevention and Outreach for RVAP. “I think that it will take that initial step to get it off the ground.”

RVAP is a resource for anyone who needs to talk about what has happened to them. RVAP follows up with everyone who calls to do anything they can do help.

“We (RVAP) are able to meet with students to provide advocacy or counseling after an incident or sexual harassment or assault.” Junis said. “It doesn’t matter how long ago that was, if someone experienced childhood sex abuse and they are having memories about that, then we can meet with them, advocate for their need, and provide counseling.”

The new text line ran by ICCSD can be used to report any kind of gender-based harassment or bullying, sexual harassment or sexual assault.

“This is a way for the school to still be aware of and address situations that are happening and try to improve school climate.” Britt Griffin said, a Youth Advocate and Youth Prevention Coordinator at RVAP.

To use the text line, text @SAFESCHOOLS to 35134. For more information on RVAP and their available resources, go to https://rvap.uiowa.edu/