Letter: Sexual assault funding at risk

In 2013, comprehensive sexual assault programs collaborated with the Iowa State Legislature and coalitions to restructure statewide victim services.

As a result, the State of Iowa saw a 125 percent increase in the number of sexual assault survivors served and Riverview Center grew to offer services in the 14 most northeastern counties in Iowa.

None of this would have been possible without victim services funding and support from elected officials. As Gov. Terry Branstad reviews the state budget plan, we implore him to keep victim services a top priority.

Riverview Center is the sole provider of vital services and resources for sexual assault/abuse survivors and their loved ones. Our services are free and confidential, and our hotline is accessible 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. Our sexual assault advocates accompany survivors to the hospital for exams following a rape, to court proceedings, and other appointments to address immediate and ongoing needs. Our therapists offer trauma-informed therapy for survivors and their non-offending family members, and also offer support groups.

Over the past 25 years, Riverview Center has seen an increase in services needed, and has been committed to providing comprehensive services.

Any kind of significant cut to victim service programs will create immediate, harmful consequences for survivors of sexual violence. As a community, it’s imperative for us to support victim services funding that helps ensure a survivor’s success and well-being. Contact the governor to insist that no cuts are passed on to the most vulnerable in our community.

Carrie Melton

Marion

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