Adam Robinson, executive director of the Iowa City-based Rape Victim Advocacy Program, says they’ve seen severe cuts in state and federal funding in recent months.
Robinson says, “In total, RVAP’s budget last fiscal year was about $1.4 million and we’ve lost about $400,000 this fiscal year.” The deep cuts forced the office to slash its workforce, eliminating 15 of the 30 part- and full-time staff members.
“One of the key programs that we’ve been running since 1999 is the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline,” Robinson says. “That program provides 24-hour, confidential, free support to anyone impacted by sexual violence and that particular program was defunded.” Even though that hotline was defunded, Robinson says the 800-number is still active and is being staffed by the remaining personnel and volunteers. While the office lost some 400-thousand dollars in funding, the modest goal for the month of August was to raise ten-thousand dollars via the crowdfunding effort.
“We’ve raised $7,300 so far, which is tremendous,” Robinson says. “We have a lot more money to raise to try to recoup the dollars we’ve lost in funding but it’s been a great start.” The fundraiser will help to sustain some services that would otherwise be at risk of vanishing.
To donate money or time as a volunteer, visit the Rape Victim Advocacy Program website.