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Underserved Communities

IowaCASA remains committed to anti-oppression work. Part of our mission is to address the needs of diverse communities and to improve the services and responses available to sexual assault survivors. Working against oppression is a valuable first step in making sure that all survivors' needs can be met. 

Historically, mainstream services for sexual assault survivors have not been inclusive. All survivors must receive relevant services and support, which is why Iowa is one of the few states that has more than half a dozen culturally specific victim service programs.

The 2016 Communities of Color conference

At a 2016 Communities of Color conference in Des Moines.

Oppression is the root cause of violence. Oppression includes:

  • sexism: stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination on the basis of one's gender

  • racism: discrimination based on the color of someone's skin, and the idea that being white is superior to someone who is non-white

  • classism: discrimination based on a social or economic status

  • colonialism: discrimination against Indigenous and Native populations 

  • transphobia: discrimination against transgender or gender non-conforming people

  • homophobia: discrimination against lesbian, gay, or bisexual people

  • ableism: discrimination against differently or specially abled people, for example wheelchair users, Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, or Blind people

  • ageism and adultism: discrimination against people who are either of older age or younger age, respectively

  • and more.

IowaCASA engages with many historically underserved communities in a variety of ways. Our TA and Survivor Services Coordinator Ari Davis provides support to a statewide group "Action Network for Diversity Inclusion" (ANDI) of women and men of color who work in victim service programs.


To find out more about what Ari does to support underserved communities and survivors across Iowa, email her at or call 515-897-8698

Beth Barnhill works with incarcerated individuals at correctional institutions, detention facilities, and jails. She works to ensure that these institutions are compliant with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards. 

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