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Spotlight: Meet Laura, IowaCASA's newest team member

Laura Velazquez

Laura Velazquez joins the team at the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault as the Training and Rural Services Specialist. We are so thrilled to have Laura as part of our staff, and wanted to give our supporters a chance to get to know her. Check it out:

Hola! My name is Laura, I use she/her/hers pronouns and I'm really excited about this opportunity to work for the coalition.

I'm a DACA recipient and very proud of my roots. My family emigrated from Mexico to California when I was two years old. At the age of 13, my family and I moved to Des Moines, Iowa, which is where I now call home.

I first started working in this movement 6 years ago as an intern for the culturally specific program Latinas Unidas Por Un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.), which offers community education and support for the Latino community around sexual and domestic violence. I later was hired on as a domestic abuse advocate and eventually worked as a sexual assault coordinator for L.U.N.A.

As IowaCASA's Training and Rural Services Specialist, I will provide assistance to victim service programs on advocate support, bilingual services, multi-disciplinary approaches to investigating sexual crimes, training for victim service advocates, and in addition will work with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and Sexual Assault Response Teams. I have an Associate of Science degree in Human Services.

I love being active, especially during the summer months (and am anxious for all this rain to go away!). I like to be part of teams like soccer and volleyball, but also really enjoy running outside. When I'm not at work, one of my favorite forms of self-care is being around friends and family.

If you need to reach me for any reason, or even if you just wanted to say "hi," feel free to contact me through email at

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