IowaCASA staff will be working remotely until March 31. We will be posting regular updates and information onto this page as soon as it becomes available. Click the button below to request COVID-19 specific assistance for victim service directors and advocates.
Last updated March 18, 2020
We encourage all programs to follow simple and effective guidelines from the CDC to reduce the spread of potential respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Click here for more information about COVID-19 and how to prevent it from spreading.
We recently learned that to ensure personnel get paid in the event of an office closure (such as closing due to COVID-19 pandemic or switching to remote work), your program policy MUST refer to paid administrative leave. If you have not already done so, we recommend programs update their policies as soon as possible and get them approved via your Boards of Directors and send into CVAD for approval. Your Board should be able to approve this policy change via email or phone. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns. Click here for sample policies for REMOTE WORK and ADMINISTRATIVE PAID LEAVE.
Need additional support or have questions about your program's policies? Contact Maggie at email@example.com.
Hospital Accompaniment & Guidelines
Hospital accompaniment has been a source of confusion and concern. We reached out to Kim Day at Iowa Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) for information about the guidance she is providing to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs). IAFN’s main message is to assure survivors that that the healthcare system is open and safe for them to access.
Programs are encouraged to connect with their Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) members to ensure coordination of services. Some information to discuss with SART members:
Is the hospital restricting access to "non-essential" visitors, and what does that mean for advocates responding to the hospital?
Has the advocacy program modified their services in anyway (e.g. telephone services only?)
If an advocate is unable to provide in-person hospital response, coordinate with the advocate about how they might be available to the survivor by phone.
If a survivor has an opportunity to speak with an advocate by phone, please ensure the survivor is able to talk with the advocate in a private location at the hospital that promotes confidentiality.
Programs should take guidance directly from local health officials. Advocate on behalf of survivors that medical care following sexual violence is to be considered a medical emergency and not an elective procedure. We all must be creative and flexible so that access to patient care is not compromised or delayed.
Some resources that may be helpful:
IAFN’s COVID page: https://www.forensicnurses.org/page/covid
The Emergency Nurses Association https://www.ena.org/practice-resources/COVID-19
Need additional support or have questions about your hospital guidelines and accompaniment? Contact Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa Programs' Service Models Amid COVID-19
Victim service programs across the state have taken the initiative to adjust their service models and policies to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Here are some sample policies from programs. Please let us know if you have questions about how your program can modify services while still meeting the needs of survivors during this difficult time.
Assault Care Extending Shelter & Support - click here
Crisis Intervention & Advocacy Center - click here
Crisis & Advocacy Services - click here
Family Resources, Inc. - click here
Do you have a service delivery model or updated policies you want to include on this page? Please share with us. Contact Matty at email@example.com.
The Iowa Supreme Court issued an order on March 17 that says all criminal trials that are not currently in process will be continued no earlier than April 20. During this time, sentencing hearings and initial appearances can be done by videoconference. Click here to read the order from the Iowa Supreme Court.
You can find all Iowa Judicial Branch COVID-19 Information and Updates at https://www.iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/covid-19-information-and-updates/
IowaCASA's legal team is currently accepting survivors in educational settings who need civil legal assistance. We can accept cases for survivors over age 11 in middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. Need additional support or have questions about legal services for survivors during COVID-19? Contact Sonci at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following template can be used by programs to alert community members that victim services are still available. Please feel free to customize as needed. Click here for customizable social media language to use for your program.
We have also created a simple image for social media posting that is not copyrighted, so any programs that want to utilize this image are welcome to do so. That image can be downloaded by clicking here.
Need additional support or have questions about social media, messaging, or communications? Contact Matty at email@example.com.
Digital Services: Teleadvocacy & Counseling
Digital services offer more ways for survivors to connect to advocacy and support services.
Here are some customizable teleadvocacy forms and resources your program can utilize when working with survivors:
TeleAdvocacy Informed Consent Form > click here
TeleCounseling Informed Consent Form > click here
TeleAdvocacy/TeleCounseling Informed Consent Talking Points > click here
Here are some resources from the National Network to End Domestic Violence:
Digital Services Toolkit > click here
How to Operate as a Remote Workplace During a Public Health Crisis > click here
Best Practices When Using Email > click here
Using Mobile Phones to Communicate with Survivors: Best Practices & Policy Recommendations > click here
Need additional support or have questions about utilizing technology for advocacy and/or counseling? Contact Kelsi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multilingual resources for COVID-19
Collections of resources on topics including self-quarantine, tips for travelers, and public health updates in over 25 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. These collections are a crowd-sourced project by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Click here for the resource.
This blog post from Switchboard contains fact sheets, posters, multimedia resources, and links to live updates in multiple languages about COVID-19, its symptoms, and how to prevent it; and about handwashing. Key Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources are listed first, followed by materials from other sources organized by type. You can download materials by clicking on your desired language, or access the latest materials from each source by clicking through to each source page. Last updated March 18, 2020. Click here for the resource.
Click here for a Spanish-language resource "Staying Safe During COVID-19" from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Need additional support or have questions about multilingual resources or working with non-English speaking survivors the during COVID-19 pandemic? Contact Elizabeth at email@example.com and/or Jocelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency management organizations
Crisis Intervention Service of Mason City provided us this helpful list of contacts for all of Iowa's 99 counties, should programs need it. Their emergency management contact in Mason City has sent them daily situation reports and, more importantly, CIS is on their radar for referrals and to help connect folks in need with local resources. Click here for the contact list.
Funding and legislation
Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Click here for an overview from the National Employment Law Project
Federal Policy Updates, a collection of resources from the Resource Sharing Project: Click here
How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19 from Nonprofit Quartlery: Click here
OVW is working to respond to the many questions this national emergency has raised for its award recipients. Click here for OVW's letter to Award Recipients. For frequently asked questions about COVID-19 for OVW grantees regarding the payment and use of leave for grant-funded staff, click here.
What you need to know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Click here for a summary from Bose McKinny & Evans LLP about the Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
Additional information that's relevant to programs
The Resource Sharing Project has a great resource page for supervisors and leadership related to COVID-19: Click here to find out more.
COVID-19 Racial Equity & Social Justice list includes information that we hope will help communities and activists as they work to understand and respond to the moment and for the long haul. Its COVID-19 Resources are arranged in categories to help you sift through the material. Click here for resource.