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Non-profit calls for cultural shift to prevent sexual assault, gender-based violence

Following the deaths of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquín Arozamena, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault has called for a cultural shift to stop gender-based violence.

IowaCASA is a Des Moines nonprofit that is a centralized voice to provide support to sexual-assault survivors. It acts as a pass-through organization to coordinate funds sanctioned by the government to grant to various programs across the state.

“We believe at IowaCASA that the reason these crimes happen … [are because] of a social-belief system that we can gain power through the exploitation of others and the idea that women cannot decide what happens to their bodies,” said Kerri True-Funk, the associate director of IowaCASA.

Rape culture is still prevalent in our society, she said. Ours is a culture in which sexual violence is normalized, she said, and here is a general belief that there is nothing we can do to prevent rape.

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