As of May 1, 2017, Helping Services for Youth & Families will no longer be offering the Domestic Violence Online Training. Staff from Helping Services and the Domestic Abuse Resource Center extend their appreciation to everyone who invested their time and expertise in creating and completing this training to share their knowledge about domestic violence, intervention, and prevention.

FUTURE TRAININGS: We will continue to offer the full 30 hour training in person as an important resource for professionals, law enforcement, community members and volunteers. Direct-service volunteers play important roles such as answering the crisis line, transporting clients, safe-homing, and many more needed services. The 30-hour training is still mandated by ICADV (Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence) to approve volunteers working directly with clients (this does not apply to indirect volunteering). ICADV offers 16 hours of the 30 hour training online. You can find out more information regarding the coalition’s training at If you are interested in future trainings, please contact Nikki Kuhn at, 563-380-1361.

You will be more prepared to help victims by taking this training.

  • Understand experiencing and fleeing from abuse through victims' perspectives.
  • Gain insight into effects of violence on children.
  • Learn correct and sensitive response techniques.
  • Connect with others who are passionate about ending violence.
  • Course Cost

    Course fees depend on if you live/work in our service area.

    Service area includes: Allamakee, Bremer, Chickasaw, Clayton, Howard, Fayette, and Winneshiek Counties.

  • $10 In service area
  • $40 Outside service area

  • Everyone can benefit from this course.

    Domestic violence awareness is critical for everyone: professionals, neighbors, retirees, teens, parents, aunts, and uncles. The more we are aware of the signs and proper ways to be involved, the better we can help victims and their families.
  • Community Members
  • Educational Professionals
  • Employees in any work environment
  • Faith Community
  • Health Professionals
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Professionals
  • Social Workers
  • Anyone wanting to support victims of domestic violence
  • Would you recommend this course to others?

    • 93%

      Percentage of Participants

    Answers to your most frequently asked questions.


    This training incorporates the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) required content for the 30-hour victim counselor training.


    Recommended resources are available to you outside of the training so you will always have access to them.


    Contact us with your questions or for technical support.

    Contact Us


    What It's Like to Answer the Domestic Abuse Resource Center Line

    Don't Be Nervous to Volunteer with the Domestic Abuse Resource Center

    Completing this training will allow you to volunteer with the Resource Center if you choose. Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone and everyone passionate about ending domestic violence. The most popular is answering the Resource Line. Other options include, Safe Home Provider, Transporter, Responder, and other more behind the scenes opportunities.


  • You will have unlimited time to complete the course. We realize that many participants have full-time jobs, as well as family responsibilities. Those who take the course often have other time limitations imposed by their employer. Our mission is to educate on the topic of Domestic Violence; we want to make it as convenient and easy as we can to fit it into your busy schedule.
  • Course fees will not be refunded if you are unable to complete the course.
  • Modules must be 90% viewed to qualify as completed. You cannot advance to each subsequent module until the previous is completed.
  • Satisfactory answers are mandatory to pass the online training. Discussion questions are in the form of short answer. There is NOT a question for every module.
  • Short answer responses should be appropriate. When posting or commenting during a short answer or activity do not include personal stories or personal identifying information, such as names, addresses, or places of employment, and stay on topic.
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Give credit when directly quoting someone.
  • Certificates will be emailed after successful course completion. “Completion” means that all content has been viewed or read, users have responded satisfactorily to questions and participated in activities. If you have not participated, the administrator will contact you to complete any missing contributions so we may issue a certificate of completion.


    The original intent of this project was to increase our volunteer base and community outreach. However, the large response from outside our service area means more expense to us to administer. Therefore, we charge $10 for people who live and/or work in our service area and $40 for people who live in counties we aren’t funded to serve.
    Upon successful completion of the training, fees will be reimbursed for anyone choosing to become a direct-service volunteer for the Helping Services' Resource Center. Other agencies may have a similar policy for how they reimburse fees for volunteers. Please direct inquiries for reimbursement to your local domestic abuse agency.

    Certificate and Course Documentation

    This course has been approved for CEUs/CEHs through Northeast Iowa Community College. You are responsible for applying for CEUs/CEHs from other accreditors. When you register, you will have an opportunity to declare your interest in CEUs/CEHs, and, upon successful completion of the online course, we will send you the form approved by NICC. It is your responsibility to complete and send in the form with the required fee (currently $8.00) to NICC to receive your CEUs/CEHs.

    If you are simply interested in proof of contact hours, the certificate of completion should suffice (thirty hours).

    Please contact Mary McNally if you have questions regarding CEUs/CEHs.
    Provider #7, Northeast Iowa Community College Mary McNally, 563-557-8271. Extension 234
    Upon completion, you will be certified to volunteer with the Domestic Abuse Resource Center. You will also be a Level One Advocate per guidelines from ICADV. If you are volunteering directly with volunteers (this is called "direct service"), you will be equipped with additional face-to-face training.


    Everyone who completes the training will receive a certificate of completion, indicating successful fulfillment of thirty online hours. This includes completion of discussion questions, which must be manually checked by the moderator. In the last module there is a notification step that will alert the moderator that you believe all steps are completed. After the moderator has reviewed your status, she will electronically release your certificate. Please allow up to two business days.

    Training Parameters

    Registration can be made online or by mail.

    If registering by mail, download this form. Fill it out and mail it, along with a check made out to Helping Services, to P.O. Box 372, Decorah, IA 52101. Within a week of receiving your form and payment, Helping Services will email you your confirmed start date and login information. The email will come from
    You will have immediate access to the online training after registration (you should receive a password in your email). You can reach the login page directly at .
    You can reset your password from the dropdown box in the upper-right corner when you are logged into the training platform. Changes can be made from "My Account."
    Please contact the Technical Support Team. Questions will receive a response within 48 hours. You can also call 563-387-1720 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    SkyPrep is a cloud-based solution, meaning it requires only a web browser to operate. The following browsers are supported:
    Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9 and highter
    Google Chrome (latest two versions)
    Apple Safari (latest version)
    Mozilla Firefox (latest two versions)

    Javascript and cookies must be enabled. Flash is highly recommended to view multimedia and Flash presentations. Please note: SkyPrep may work with add-ons such as Google Chrome Frame.
    If you do not abide by the training expectations you agreed to when registering for the training, you will be immediately removed and forfeit your registration fee.

    Post-Course Completion

    Yes! All of the recommended readings and suggested links will be available after your access has expired. You can view them outside of the training: Domestic Violence Awareness Training Resources. Presentations, powerpoints, and activities will not be viewable after course completion.

    No part of the training may be used or reproduced outside of the format provided by Helping Services, without the express written permission of Helping Services.
    Volunteering takes many forms. To directly work with clients:
    1. Submit an application.
    2. Complete this 30-hour training.
    3. Finish an additional session of face-to-face training with an advocate.
    (Steps one and two can be done in either order.) You can also contact the training administrator at to express your interest in becoming a volunteer.
    After successful completion of the training, certification is good for one year.

    The requirements to maintain Victim Counselor status after the 30 hour training include:
    • Two (2) hours of continued education each year from in-person training or webinar (four hours total for renewal application)
    • Twenty (20) hours of direct client services with multiple clients each year (40 hours total)
    • Two (2) consultations with a Certified Domestic Abuse Advocate each year in person, email or via telephone
    This training incorporates the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) required content for the 30-hour victim counselor training.

    This Domestic Violence Awareness Training is the property of Helping Services for Northeast Iowa and is protected by copyright. No part may be used or reproduced outside of the format provided by Helping Services, without the express written permission of the agency.

    1. Introduction
    2. Feminism and Social Roots of Violence (2 hours) | In this section, we will explore what feminism means to you, and its influence on society and domestic violence. A brief history of women’s rights in the U.S. will highlight the women's movement, the human rights actions they inspired, and the effect it had on the sexual assault and battered women’s movements. By understanding the historical context of violence against women and women’s resistance against oppression, we can begin to appreciate the struggle for respect and equality.
    3. Domestic Violence Dynamics (4 hours) | As outsiders looking in, it is common to make quick judgments about why a person chooses to stay in a violent relationship, and why what appear to be the obvious right choices are discarded for what appear to be poor ones. To understand a victim of domestic violence requires understanding the dynamics of domestic abuse, its causes, and the impact on survivors. This includes the perspective of the victim as well as the abusing partner.
    4. Sexual Assault Dynamics (4 hours) | Sexual assault and rape are difficult realities. Correctly responding to and supporting a survivor of an assault are critical to their recovery. We will discuss procedures to follow in common situations, techniques to support recovery, and important self-care for the survivor.
    5. Dating Violence (40 min) | Teens and young adults are experiencing disturbing levels of violence in their dating relationships, but only half recognize the warning signs of a dangerous relationship. Early efforts to promote healthy, respectful dating relationships are more likely to prevent dating violence before the problem begins. In the larger picture, youth can learn valuable skills that not only serve them now, but will forge healthy relationships throughout their lives.
    6. Children Exposed to Violence (1 hour, 20 min) | This section explores how children are affected when exposed to domestic violence, from infancy to their teenage years. We examine how violence affects the brain, the long-term effects that follow individuals into adulthood, and how systems respond to children in abuse situations. Finally, you will learn helpful messages for children and safety planning measures.
    7. Child Sexual Abuse (2 hours) | We are all affected by child sexual abuse. You will learn that whether you are a parent, grandparent, community member, or professional, we all have a responsibility to protect children. In this session, we will review the signs of abuse to look for, how to respond to children who have been sexually abused, and how that abuse affects them. Both on a policy level and personal level, you can take action to minimize the opportunities for child abuse to take place.
    8. Diversity (2 hours) | In this section, we invite you to explore your own cultural background. This self-reflection should help you embrace a different kind of diversity that reaches all individuals, including yourself. By embracing this new understanding, we hope you can better connect with people on a personal level and eventually, embrace the benefits of more meaningful relationships.
    9. Court System and Domestic Violence Laws (4 hours) - Includes 1 hour crime victim assistance | You will learn about the most common state and federal laws dealing with domestic abuse, and the implications of arresting victims. We will look at the broader scope of what the legal side of domestic violence means to a victim and the more complicated issues of children involvement or things such as immigration status. You will journey through the legal side of domestic violence, with assistance from a law enforcement official, court attorney, and a victim witness coordinator. Finally, you will hear about trauma-informed care in custody evaluations and how lawyers can use that information for more positive outcomes.
    10. Sexual Abuse Laws (2 hours) | This section covers sexual abuse crimes and victims from the perspective of law enforcement, investigators, and legal/medical advocates.
    11. Advocacy –Systems (3.5 hours) - Includes 1 hour on medical advocacy | A domestic violence survivor navigates many systems: health care, legal, social services, and faith community, just to name a few. It is critical that the professionals and community members providing support have an understanding of the unique challenges of a victim. Using concepts like trauma-informed care, agencies and individuals can provide services with a greater level of sensitivity.
    12. Advocacy – Emotional (2.5 hours) | Domestic violence can cause an adverse ripple effect on the emotional and psychological state of a survivor. Panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide are often ignited by domestic violence and/or other severe forms of abuse. Knowing how to correctly respond to a survivor’s mental state is a positive way all of us can support survivors.
    13. Advocacy – Skill Building (2 hours) | No matter what our roles are—professional, community member, or friend—we can support the survivors of abuse who we come in contact with. This training has laid the foundation to better understand victims of domestic violence. It’s time to put that knowledge to the test. A series of scenarios conclude each course to acclimate participants to simulated crisis line calls. In this final piece of the training, participants are challenged to use active listening skills, and then respond to situations that require sensitivity and knowledge of options and support services.
    14. Conclusion
    Training Participants
    First, we would like to acknowledge everyone who has given of their time to complete this 30-hour training. Your support for victims of domestic violence speaks volumes. It is our hope that this training has impacted you in such a way that you will join the fight for social change and non-acceptance of intimate partner violence.

    We gratefully acknowledge the Marion E. Jerome Foundation, who believes in our mission and this project and gave their financial support.

    Our deepest gratitude goes to the various professionals and organizations, who generously contributed their time and expertise, assuring solid, high-quality material for this training.
  • Advocates for Human Rights
  • Allen Child Protection
  • Center City of Dubuque, Criminal Investigation Division
  • Department of Human Services
  • Decorah High School
  • Discover Happy Pilates and Wellness Studio
  • Dubuque County Sheriff's Office
  • Fayette County Attorney's Office
  • Fayette County Sheriff's Office
  • Lighthouse Professional Counseling
  • Luther College
  • North Fayette Valley High School
  • Northeast Iowa Community Action
  • Olga Trujillo Consulting
  • Riverview Center
  • St. Paul's Lutheran Church
  • Therapy Associates
  • Winneshiek Medical Center
  • Winneshiek County Attorney's Office
  • University of Iowa
  • Upper Iowa University

    Filming Locations
    In addition, a special thank you goes to the organizations that allowed us to use their facilities for videotaping:
  • Bethel Presbyterian Church -West Union, IA
  • Washington Prairie Lutheran Church - Decorah, IA
  • Vennehjem Retirement Community - Decorah, IA
  • Media Center - Luther College, Decorah, IA

    Helping Services Team
    Last, this training would not have been possible without the professionalism, passion and dedication of the staff at Helping Services. From administration staff to the advocates assisting clients, this project is the culmination of the best of our time, talent, and energy. We are thrilled that our efforts are reaching a wider audience, ultimately translating to more people understanding and aiding survivors of domestic violence.
  • No part of the training may be used or reproduced outside of the format provided by Helping Services without the express written permission of the agency.

    View Reference Citation List

    Resources as Listed in Training

    Feminism and Social Roots of Violence
  • None listed.

    Domestic Violence Dynamics
  • A Guide to Working with Women in Crisis
  • Empowerment Is the Core of Advocacy
  • Facts on Domestic, Dating, and Sexual Violence
  • Patterns of Thinking and Behavior Displayed by Abusive People
  • Post-Separation Power and Control Wheel
  • Understanding the Nature and Dynamics of Domestic Violence
  • Unequal Impact

    Sexual Assault Dynamics
  • None listed.

    Dating Violence
  • Socio-Ecological Model
  • Teen Equality Wheel
  • Teen Power and Control Wheel
  • State Law Report Cards
  • LGBTQ Abusive Relationships
  • Texting and Digital Abuse

    Children Exposed to Violence
  • Child Abuse Definitions
  • Supporting Brain Development in Traumatized Children and Youth
  • Child Safety Plan Handbook
  • Impact of Exposure to Violence on Stages of Development
  • Internet Resources for Children Exposed to Violence
  • Iowa ACE Results 2012
  • ACE's by Vince Felitti, MD

    Child Sexual Abuse
  • Guerry Glover: A Survivor Story

  • None listed.

    Court System and Domestic Violence Laws
  • Court Rule 37
  • Iowa Firearm Changes 2010
  • Restraining Order Cheatsheet
  • Victim-Counselor Privilege

    Sexual Abuse Laws
  • Adolescent Sexual Behavior and the Law
  • Rape and Sexual Assault in the Legal System
  • Sex Abuse Charges Quick Reference
  • Sex Act Crimes Based on Age
  • Iowa Sex Abuse Registry
  • Iowa Courts Online
  • Iowa Dept. of Corrections

    Advocacy - Systems
  • Advocacy Wheel
  • Client Rights
  • Northeast Iowa Community Resources
  • Community Response Model
  • Community Accountability Wheel
  • Safety Planning by Jill Davies
  • Domestic Abuse Advocacy in Medical Settings
  • Medical Power and Control Wheel
  • VIGOR: Victim Inventory of Goals, Options, and Risks
  • Responding to Domestic Violence: A Call to Christian Leaders

    Advocacy - Emotional
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Grounding Techniques
  • Amanda Rhine Relaxation Techniques
  • Comfort Phrases
  • Suicide Prevention - Center for Disease Control

    Advocacy - Skill Building
  • 15 Things a Battered Woman Needs
  • Helping an Abused Woman
  • When Responding to a Survivor
  • Forum questions, certificate status, and CEU questions


    Technical support is offered during regular business hours. You may find your question answered in the Frequently Asked Questions.

    Volunteer support is also available during business hours. Contact the volunteer coordinator with any of your questions or concerns regarding volunteering with the Domestic Abuse Resource Center.

    Nikki |, 563-380-1361.
    All information and material used within the Online Domestic Violence Awareness Training are subject to copyrights owned by Helping Services for Youth & Families and its collaborators. No piece–in part or entirety–may be used, reproduced, or distributed without prior written permission directly from Helping Services or the appropriate copyright owner. All other rights reserved. Although this training and website include links to other materials and websites, Helping Services takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on these sources. Helping Services for Youth & Families. All rights reserved.
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