Available any time, day or night, 365 days a year, the Crisis Hotline is a confidential way for survivors to contact Riverview Center for help. Whether it is their first time requesting assistance, reaching out for support during a flashback or making a counseling appointment, the Hotline is the best way to get ahold of us.
Legal, Medical and General Advocacy
We believe you. You are not alone.
Advocates support survivors during legal proceedings and medical exams, and it is your legal right to as the survivor of a crime to have an advocate by your side as you navigate the criminal justice system should you choose to involve law enforcement. Advocates also facilitate the connection of survivors with the resources they need to meet their basic needs because we understand trauma can impact every facet of someone’s life. Advocates provide information for survivors for all available options and never push them toward a certain plan of action. From standing with survivors in the courtroom to finding safe housing, advocates are client-centered in everything they do.
Advocacy can take many forms, but care is always directed by the needs of the survivor. Here are some of the ways we can help.
Legal advocacy helps survivors navigate the legal system, both criminal and civil, including obtaining orders of protection, criminal charges, and family cases. Legal advocates are not lawyers and cannot provide legal advice, but they can help to identify the client’s legal rights and can refer a client to a lawyer if necessary. Advocates can stand in place of a client on their behalf with police, prosecutors and others within the criminal justice system. We are on your side.
Medical advocacy means survivors have someone by their side during the medical procedures and questions that take place after their trauma, day or night. The advocate will explain the processes to the survivor and let them know all their options and the possible outcomes from both choosing to take part or to pass on certain exams. The advocate will support any decision a survivor makes, and there is no wrong decision. The advocate empowers the survivor, letting them know that they are in control of their life.
General advocacy refers to the other ways advocates can help survivors in addition to medical or legal services. At the heart of the word advocacy is support. Riverview Center staff recognizes that survivors may need support in many areas, including safe housing, economic empowerment, transportation, communicating with friends and family about their experiences, and locating other resources in their area. Advocates can assist survivors in removing barriers that prevent them from creating a safe environment for themselves and their loved ones as they heal.
To request an advocate or to learn more about how advocacy services can help your situation, call the hotline nearest you.
Therapy and Counseling
Riverview Center offers counseling and therapy to survivors of sexual violence in Iowa and to survivors of sexual and/or domestic violence in Illinois. When a survivor decides that counseling or therapy is part of their healing journey, they are given choices. Riverview Center therapists create service plans based on the needs and wishes of the client, including treatment goals that the therapist and survivor agree on. Therapists will never force a survivor to discuss experiences that they are not ready to talk about; instead, therapists guide the survivor toward their picture of healing at the survivor’s pace.
Therapy and counseling services are available for child, teen and adult survivors, and for friends and family of the survivor. Sessions can be one-on-one, with family or in a group setting, depending on the client’s preference and comfort level. Therapy and counseling take place within the privacy of our offices or in an agreed upon, confidential location in the community that is convenient and comfortable for the survivor.
Each session is centered by the needs and wishes of the client, including goals, types of therapy methods, and timeline. While one survivor may need a place to discuss their experience in a safe environment, another may benefit from using art or sand tray therapy to process the abuse. This service may last weeks, months, or years, depending on the survivor’s needs. The path to healing is not linear; rather, it takes a unique shape for each survivor.
If you are a survivor seeking help from Riverview Center for the first time, please call the Riverview Center office nearest you, or reach us by the hotline. We will set up a time for you to meet with an advocate or counselor in your area. All services are completely free and confidential. We believe you. We support you. We will be here when you’re ready.