September 2014 Newsletter

September 24, 2014 News Newsletter newsletter 0

Monument Quilt visits Iowa

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa and Nisaa African Family Services collaborated with other culturally specific sister organizations in Iowa to host the Monument Quilt summer tour created by Force, a Baltimore, Md., organization seeking to end sexual violence, on August 14 at Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. The Monument Quilt is an ongoing collection of stories of survivors of sexual abuse. For a photo gallery of the event, go to!i=3491673992&k=NmCZc4


Check out a video of the Des Moines tour:


The United States highest immigration court issued a landmark ruling on August 26 finding victims of domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum.

The Board of Immigration Appeals overturned an October 2009 ruling that denied asylum for a battered woman from Guatemala, signaling a victory for the nearly 20-year campaign by immigrants’ rights advocates to secure legal recognition.

Applying for asylum has been complicated by vague legal definitions. A person must be able to prove that he or she has been persecuted on the basis of race, national origin, religion, political views or membership in a particular “social group”; for years advocates and attorneys have been embroiled in a debate over what constitutes a “social group.” Advocates have maintained that victims of domestic violence belong to a social group.

To read the board’s decision go to

Campus news

The California legislature has passed a landmark legislation mandating colleges and universities that receive state funding to adopt a standard of affirmative consent — or the “yes means yes” requirement.

The bill will require schools to adopt policies on sexual assault and implement prevention and outreach programs to address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. In also defines consent as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” at every point of the sexual encounter, and specifies that intoxication cannot be used by the accused as an excuse for assumed consent.

This first-of-its-kind legislation comes amid heightened federal scrutiny of the sexual assault crisis on college campuses.

New resources

The California State University system, which includes 31 separate campuses, along with the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault and the US Department of Defense, has selected Agent of Change as one of its highly recommended sexual assault education programs. Agent of Change is the only interactive online violence prevention training designed by sexual violence educators. The site utilizes popular and evidence-based strategies for violence prevention methods, and addresses the topics required by the SaVE Act, including sexual assault, stalking, abusive relationships, sexual harassment, and primary prevention education. To learn more about the program go to

News and events

Wake Up for Your Rights (WUFYR) is showing a 15-minute documentary to illustrate the struggles of refugees and immigrants from Africa Tuesday, September 9 at Prairiewoods, 120 East Boyson Road in Hiawatha. The event, which is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will also include an opportunity for questions and further discussion facilitated by WUFYR founder Esaie Toingar. To register go to

The Tahirih Justice Center, in partnership with Pomegranate Tree Group, will embark on a six-city tour starting September 22 to raise awareness of forced marriage. Inspired by “Heartbeats: The Izzat Project,” a graphic novel written by South Asian survivors of violence from Canada, the tour will showcase often unheard stories of gender-based violence in the United States. At each stop, Tahirih advocates, local partners, and Heartbeats authors will host a community forum that will include a multimedia performance by the authors, a training workshop to help service providers identify and respond to forced marriage, and an issue briefing on policy recommendations.

Tour stops include:

New York- September 22-23

Houston- October 16-17

San Francisco- November 5-7

New Brunswick- December 3-5

Chicago- January 21-23

Washington, DC- February 18-20

Watch the video for “Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage in the U.S” at For more information go to

Webinars, trainings, conferences

What: (Webinar) Presenting the Case: Best Practices in Prosecution Charging Decisions

When: September 10, 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Central Time Registration: Go to Participants will learn about best practices in prosecution charging decisions in cases of domestic violence, as well as how to improve their community’s prosecution response to battering.

What: (Training) IowaCASA’s Continuting Education Training

When: September 30, 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Where: IowaCASA Conference Room, 3030 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines

Registration: To register, go to Participants will learn tools to provide services for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as collaborating with other service providers, outreach to this population, and how to make their program’s services accessible.

What: (Webinar) Engaging Men to End Violence Against Women When: Thursday, September 18, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central Time

Registration: . Participants will discuss the value of engaging men in violence prevention and intervention, examining strengths and weaknesses of current initiatives and providing strategies and tools to engage men at the organizational level.

What: (Conference) Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities

When: March 26 -29, 2015

Where: Chicago, Illinois

Call for proposals: The Color of Violence 4 (COV4) will mark INCITE!’s 15 years of engaging in grassroots organizing projects, critical conversations, national actions, transnational campaigns and community building strategies to end colonial, racial, and gender-based violence against women of color, trans and queer people of color and communities. Workshops can be on any theme that is in keeping with INCITE!’s mission to address the intersections of interpersonal, state and institutional violence, and in any format: performances, participatory workshops, learning labs, story circles, open discussions, strategy sessions, activist studios, network gatherings, etc. Proposals can be submitted at The deadline is September 1. For more information, contact

Funding opportunities

The Taproot Foundation is offering pro bono Service Grants with a minimum value of $45,000 to nonprofits in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C., working in the areas of the arts, education, the environment, health or social services. Every Service Grant is delivered by a team of about six business professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help a nonprofit in their community. To qualify for a grant, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization or a public school and work within one of the foundation’s program areas (i.e., the arts, education, the environment, health and social services). To be eligible for a grant, organizations also must have at least three full-time employees and an annual budget of at least $350,000. For more information, go to Deadline: September 1.

Singing for Change is accepting letters of interest for grants of up to $10,000 that will be awarded to progressive, nonprofit organizations that address the root causes of social or environmental problems. The application deadline is ongoing. For more information, go to

Job opportunities

Position: Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline Advocate

The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) at the University of Iowa is seeking an Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline (ISAH) advocate to coordinate and oversee all aspects of the 240hour Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline (ISAH) Thursday through Monday during the hours of 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information visit Refer to requisition 65059. To learn more about the RVAP, go to

Position: Director Services Advocate

RVAP is seeking a Direct Services Advocate to coordinate and provide confidential, medical, legal, personal, and system advocacy, and other direct services to sexual assault victims at the University of Iowa and in Cedar, Iowa, Johnson and Washington Counties. The position requires the ability to take call shifts on a rotational basis with other staff members outside of normal office hours and respond within 20 minutes to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. For more information go to Refer to requisition #65060.

Position: Publications Specialist

The Resource Sharing Project of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA) is seeking an individual to translate lessons from the field into publications. The Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) Publications Specialist will develop newsletters, training curricular, issue briefs and other publications on emerging issues from SADI, the first large-scale project to determine best practices and needed action in reaching more sexual assault survivors and providing comprehensive sexual assault services in dual/multi-service advocacy programs. This Des Moines-based position will require national travel and salary range will be based on qualifications and experience. To view job description go to For questions and how to apply contact

Position: Direct Services Program Manager

The Asian Family Support Services of Austin is seeking an individual to manage its 24-hour hotline, as well as provide support, supervision and evaluation of the agency’s culturally-specific and trauma informed supportive services for Asian and immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking. For more information

Monsoon trainings

Are you interested in raising awareness about gender-based violence? Monsoon is offering Community Engagement/Outreach Training and Multilingual Advocate Training for 2014. For more information, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or

You’re the one!

Nisaa is seeking people interested in social justice to serve on its Board of Directors. If you are interested, contact Hibo Jama at

Monsoon job opportunities

On-Call Multilingual Advocates

Function: In order to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services to Asian, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iowa, Monsoon relies on Multilingual Advocates, a pool of on-call bilingual or multilingual consultants. These consultants assist survivors by providing information, referrals, peer support, advocacy and interpretation services.

Hours and availability: Applicants must have schedules that allow flexibility in order to work some daytime hours during the week and weekend on an on-call basis. Training will be provided.

Requirements: Fluency in English and at least one Asian or Pacific Islander language.

For more information, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or at

Call for action

If you are interested in volunteering at Monsoon’s Bayanihan Community Resource Center, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or at Training will be provided.

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