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Domestic Violence Intervention Program  United Way

1105 S Gilbert Ct. Suite 300
Iowa City, IA 52240
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Kristie Fortmann-Doser
email | website

Phone Numbers
Business: 3193569863
Toll Free: 800-373-1043
Fax: 319-466-4624

Non-Profit Organization

Helpline available 24 Hours a Day, 365 days a year

Description of Organization and Service Provided
DVIP serves victims of domestic abuse, their children and non-offending family or friends. DVIP provides the following crisis intervention and violence prevention services:

The DVIP 24-Hour Hotline is available to victims of domestic abuse, their children, family and friends for crisis intervention, support, information and referral. DVIP provides paid staff and volunteers to assist victims 24 hours/7 days a week. In addition, DVIP has access to the Language Line. The Language Line is a contracted phone service that provides interpreters for 170 languages which can be accessed within minutes, 24 hours a day. This service is critical as Johnson County supports a very diverse population. In the past 3 year DVIP has served clients from 88 countries.
Shelter is available to women and youth when staying in their current situation is no longer safe. Individuals and families stay in shelter for as long as 90 days. The current average length of stay is 45 days, with 40-45 women and children staying in our shelter daily. Residents share in household chores, cook their own meals and are responsible for maintaining their rooms. Residents attend two house meetings per week to discuss issues related to domestic violence and shelter living issues. Residents gather information from staff, support from each other and referrals related to life issues, such as financial resources, housing and employment.

Criminal Justice Advocacy
includes both crisis and on-going support in working with the criminal justice system. DVIP advocates are members of the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) which works in collaboration with the Iowa City Police Department and Johnson County Attorney’s office, to improve prosecution of domestic abuse assault. Some additional arenas that staff and volunteers assist victims include:
  • Obtaining emergency Pro Se Protective Orders.
  • Victims involved with criminal proceedings (typically cases where their partner is the defendant).
  • Civil proceedings such as divorce or custody cases.
  • VAWA (Violence Against Women Act, Federal Govt. 1994) petition that provides safety and asylum for battered immigrant women.
  • Women and youth involved with the Department of Human Services or the juvenile justice system.
Economic Advocacy includes advocating for victims accessing financial assistance resources, housing assistance and employment. DVIP provides Personal Economic Planning (PEP), a service for long-range financial planning, job preparation and resume development. This service, along with the Life Issues groups, focuses heavily on securing independence and preventing future violence.

Peer Counseling Support is minimally available to adult and youth victims of domestic violence. Staff and volunteers utilize Brief Solution Based and Peer Counseling methods.

Support Groups have become a critical aspect of DVIP services, because we are no longer able to offer one-to-one support as we have in the past, due to funding reductions over the last seven years. We have two types of support group – Support and Life Issues. In addition, we provide support group in two languages (English and Spanish). Support groups foster empowerment and provide an opportunity for victims to come together to discuss the impact of domestic violence and healing. Life Issues groups focus on barriers victims face individually, or in the community, in reaching their personal goals.

Life Issues groups include the following topics:
  • Boundaries and Healthy Relationships
  • Safety Planning
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Finances and Economic Self-Sufficiency
  • Identifying Personal Strengths
  • Dating Violence on Campus (collaboration with the University of Iowa, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and UI Women’s Resource and Action Center)
General Advocacy supports victims as they access a wide range of systems in the community. Domestic violence affects many aspects of victims’ lives. General Advocacy involves working with diverse fields, including healthcare professionals, faith-based communities, schools, employers and a wide range of groups, on behalf of individual victims and/or domestic abuse victims as a larger group.

Youth Services
are included in all of the previously listed services. The following are highlights of services specific to youth affected by domestic violence:

  • Criminal Justice and Court Advocacy provides both crisis and on-going criminal justice advocacy, supporting and helping youth clients and their parent understand the justice process and be informed of their choices. DVIP works closely with the juvenile justice system.
  • Child Protective Services. Advocacy services for women and youth involved with the Department of Human Services or the juvenile justice system are a key component to safety for our clients. The Johnson County Department of Human Services (DHS) often refers both women and children to DVIP for client counseling and advocacy. Youth Services staff provide consultation to DHS investigators and caseworkers regarding issues of domestic abuse and its affects on children and their mothers. Our mutual goal is to assist the victim-survivor in finding safety for both her and her children.
  • Parental Advocacy offers alternative suggestions and support for families responding to difficult battering generated issues and their impact on youth family members. Parenting advocacy goes hand in hand with daily life in a communal living situation, such as shelter. Our information on parenting is welcomed by many of our clients, but it is our support of the client’s decision on their own parenting, coupled with the community that is built by the mothers within the facility, that are the agency’s strongest assets.
  • Support Group provides education and emotional support to youth in areas of concern such as feelings, self-esteem, and responsibility for violence, anger and conflict management as well as violence within families. Group uses art, music and movement exercises to explore self -expression as well as personal accountability and responsibility.
Support Group topics include:
  • Becoming a Supportive Person
  • Choosing Equality and Respect
  • Recognizing Abusive Relationships
  • Skills for Healthy Relationships
  • Collaborating with area schools to help youth stay connected to their school of origin, even while staying in shelter.
  • Bully Proof (violence prevention) Curriculum includes class discussions, role plays, case studies, writing exercises, reading assignments, art activities, and independent observation projects. The lessons are designed to give youth a way to work through the gray areas of joking around, teasing and bullying, as well as help identify ways in which to help those who are being bullied, figure out their role as a bystander and contribute to a “bully-proof” environment. This curriculum is implemented both in support group and the Iowa City Community School District literacy program.
  • Teen Education includes a series of discussion sessions revolving around the issues of teen dating violence.
  • Prevention-based Recreational Activities provides diverse, age-appropriate activities to youth to increase familiarity with the surrounding community and local resources, as well as support for social development and healthy interaction with peers.
  • Family Fun Night is a weekly activity planned by shelter families and staff to foster positive interaction between women and children with staff support in an informal setting, reinforcing respect for both the adult and child experience in crisis, the power of the healing process and the need for fun which can be achieved through inexpensive and creative ideas.
Education Services provide for the following:
  • Volunteer and Staff Training
  • Community Speaking Engagements
  • Dating Violence on Campus provided to Freshman, Faculty, Administration and Public Safety on the University of Iowa Campus (collaboration with the University of Iowa, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and UI Women’s Resource and Action Center)
  • Education Materials – for clients and community
  • Annual Report
  • Media – article series, letters to the editor, press releases and announcements
  • Professional Training and Consultation
  • Brochures, Handouts and Posters

Our service area includes the following Iowa Counties: Cedar, Des Moines, Henry, Iowa, Johnson, Lee, Van Buren and Washington

Must be a victim of domestic violence

Cost of Service
All services are free and confidential

Methods of payments accepted

Reduced Rate Accepted?
All services are free


Accepted Insurance Types

Certifications / Credentials
Certified Domestic Abuse Advocates, Member organization of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Abuse


This page was last updated by the provider on 7/11/2018

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