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Cuts to Iowa victim services defund Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline, other programs

Transformative Healing raises funds in Iowa City.

The Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline and other programs that provide support to survivors of violence are being eliminated in response to federal and state cuts to victim services.

Officials with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office's Crime Victim Assistance Division said the decision to cut the hotline and funding to two other programs came after all other available options were explored.

Advocates, however, said state lawmakers should have known the elimination of such needed survivor resources would be the inevitable consequence of the Iowa Legislature's vote earlier this year to cut state funding to victim services by 26 percent.

“Part of the verbiage from the state legislators who voted for this cut was that it would not impact victim services in any way," said Adam Robinson, director of the Rape Victim’s Advocacy Program at the University of Iowa. "What we are seeing is how that is simply not reality."

The Crime Victim Assistance Board voted May 12 to save $268,239 by zeroing the state funding received by Transformative Healing, an organization focused on ending sexual violence in the LGBTQ community. The board also zeroed out the $217,996 received by IowaARCH, a multilanguage chat line for Iowans with questions about sexual violence.

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