The state of Iowa is currently proposing to cut funding for sexual assault and domestic violence assistance programs. Budget cuts will dramatically impact the services available to survivors. Without adequate funding, not only would future on-campus Advocates lack appropriate training, but our parent organization, Crisis Intervention Services, would be unable to offer adequate shelter to women across the state of Iowa.
In response, Grinnell Advocates will be attending Lobby Day at the Capitol on February 21 in hopes of swaying our legislators. In the mean time, Advocates would like to offer our support to the campus community, and inform Grinnellians about the resources that we offer. Although the current presidential administration threatens to cut programs like ours, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all students.
***Trigger Warning—This letter contains information regarding sexual assault prevention and awareness.***
Who are Grinnell Advocates?
We are state-certified student-advocates for sexual assault response in the state of Iowa. Each advocate undergoes thirty hours of training with Crisis Intervention Services. We focus specifically on response and education. Unlike Residence Life and Student Affairs, every Advocate is strictly and legally recognized as a confidential resource. We work to uphold a mission of response to sexual assault and incidents of dating violence, to educate the campus and to promote inclusivity in our cause.
What do Advocates do?
Advocates service a 24-hour text and call line. When serving as an on-call Advocate, our goal is to listen to, support and inform victim-survivors of their options and resources. Our unique role is to be sure that they feel safe, heard and supported without pressure. We do not provide long-term therapy, but instead offer immediate emotional support and planning for continued assistance. We provide information about the medical, legal, mental health and campus systems to ensure that no survivor has to go through the process alone.
Who can call or text a campus Advocate?
Any member of the Grinnell campus community can reach out to an Advocate. We also offer the option of speaking with an Advocate not affiliated with the college program. This can be requested upon calling or texting our crisis line.
What is next for Advocates?
Along with the support of other campus groups, Advocates will host Sexual Assault Awareness Week (February 27-March 3). The week’s open events include informational tabling, a clothesline project, two coffee talks in residence hall lounges facilitated by Advocates on how you can support a friend, a student-athlete panel on preventing sexual misconduct and promoting sexual respect, and the set-up of the labyrinth in JRC 101 for a day of reflection and healing. Additional coffee talks on other topics will be held throughout the semester, as well as some other awareness events.
How can you get involved?
If you are interested in becoming a certified Advocate please email [advocates] and we will add you to our recruitment mailing list. If you would like to get involved with some of our upcoming events for Sexual Assault Awareness Week, we would love your help—email us!