Domestic violence and sexual abuse affect people from all racial, social, and economic backgrounds. Helping Services offers free and confidential services to those currently in, or leaving, an abusive relationship. Our Resource Center services are available in Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.
- Crisis Line
- Adult/Teen Advocacy
- Child Advocacy
- Legal Advocacy
- Medical Advocacy
- Safe Homes/Safe Shelters
- Transitional Housing
We offer a free and confidential crisis line regarding domestic or sexual abuse. The line is answered by advocates or trained volunteers that are sensitive to the unique issues surrounding abuse. Our trained responders are knowlegeable about area resources and can explain how they can assist you. So often, victims of violence feel that they don't have options; our staff not only give them options they may have not thought of, they give callers hope. You can feel free to discuss your problem completely anonymously, or advocates can arrange to meet with you.
24-Hour Crisis Line outside of Iowa 563.382.2989
Toll Free 24-hour Crisis Line within Iowa 800.383.2988
The role of advocates is to provide support and understanding for each victim/survivor’s individual experience. We can provide emotional support, as well as a connection to other resources and services within the community. We accompany victims to appointments with attorneys, doctors, law enforcement, and other professionals. We offer individual counseling and support groups for adults who have been victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault.
“Advocacy” means working with an advocate focusing on empowerment, safety planning, and education, while supporting autonomy and self-determination. Advocacy is survivor-centered and uses nonvictim blaming methods that include:
• Identifying barriers to, and strategies to enhance, safety, including safety planning.
• Clarifying and increasing awareness of power and control associated with domestic violence and the options one may have to obtain resources while staying safe.
• Supporting independent decision-making based on the unique needs and circumstances of each individual.
All Resource Center services are free of charge and confidential.
Resource Center staff of Helping Services for Northeast Iowa provides services to any victim of domestic violence regardless of immigration status, race, color, religion, disability, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnicity, income, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law.
The Child Advocate provides individual and group education and support services for children who have been exposed to domestic violence and meets with child(ren) and non-abusing parent/guardians to strengthen and rebuild the relationship that had been tampered by abuse through family conversations.
Such topics cover:
- Goal setting for family
- Positive traits of each family member
- Abuse - events that the child(s) witnessed and/or experienced, recognizing it is not okay, and their reactions to the events
- Healthy and unhealthy choices
- Safety planning
Children 13 years and under are served by our child advocates.
We provide education about abusive relationships to students, church groups, civic groups, and professionals in the medical and legal communities.
Trainings for Professionals
Trainings are available to other professionals to provide a better understanding of the impact domestic violence and sexual assault has on children. Through the "Impact of Domestic Violence on Children" training, we all can better identify signs of domestic violence, offer support, and make referrals when needed. The goal" to understand, serve and protect children in our communities.
If you would be interested in having a staff person talk to your agency or civic group, please call the Resource Center number (563) 382-2989 (outside of Iowa) or 1-800-383-2988 in Iowa.
Advocates accompany clients to sexual assault exams to support them after this frightening experience. They make sure that clients understand procedures clearly. Advocates have unique knowledge and skills to understand and assist victims to make them feel respected in this time of crisis.
Advocates are available to accompany clients to emergency room visits related to domestic abuse. The advocates offer emotional support, as well as professional advice during this troubling time.
We have several safe homes in our service area. They are available to house individuals or families who are no longer safe staying in their homes. This is a short-term solution while the advocates can assist with optional housing arrangements. Shelters are different than safe homes. We do not have shelters in our service area, but we can provide transportation to other safe shelters in northeast Iowa.
Often, victims of domestic violence flee their dangerous cirumstances with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Helping Services makes available the very basic necessities: personal care items, gas or food cards, comfort items for terrified children. Many of these items are made possible through the generosity of donors. If you would like to see what items we accept (or service projects your group may be interested in), please browse our list here.
Transitional housing is free or affordable housing for a victim of domestic violence and children in the family. It is a "transition" time; the family or individual has found safety and stability, and they are at a rebuilding time in their life. Transitional housing provides a temporary residence, supportive services, and referrals for a limited period of time until more permanent housing can be found or afforded. Find out more about our transitional housing program here...