Inclusion and Belonging - Healing Space

Ruth Kahssai, Director of Justice and Equity, USG, and Dr. Maria Bruno, Executive Director of Belonging and Inclusion, DSL, have created space for students, faculty, and staff who identify within the African Diaspora. Our aim is to create space for open and brave conversation, to listen and share in community as we process national events, and provide a platform to hold each other up.

Inclusion and Belonging Healing Space

Informing Parents and Guardians

The University of Iowa strives to collaborate with and educate the larger Iowa City community on violence prevention and provide education to University of Iowa students' parents and guardians on the topic of gender-based violence and discrimination. 

Information on gender-based violence and discrimination prevention is shared with parents and guardians at orientation during the Ensuring Student Success: Parents as Partners session. This session is presented by the Dean of Students, Student Health & Wellness, and RVAP. This orientation session focuses on providing parents with strategies to engage their student in difficult conversations about alcohol, sexual assault, and other aspects of college life that impact a student’s ability to be successful. Effective strategies for addressing alcohol, sexual assault, and other concerns are presented during this session as well as healthcare resources, campus supports, and student assistance programs that are available to support students in making healthy choices and being successful at Iowa.

Raise the Bar

Developed in 2014, Raise the Bar (RTB) is a training opportunity for local bar staff to gain knowledge on sexual assault dynamics, perpetrator red flags, the use of alcohol as a weapon and camouflage, and bystander intervention skills with the goal of developing a coordinated response to prevent sexual assault. Raise the Bar also allows staff to share with bar patrons safety messages that encourage respect and lets customers know that bar staff are available for help.  The Violence Prevention Team has trained centers around the state and nationally on providing Raise the Bar in their respective service areas.

For more information contact Susan Junis ( 

Adapted from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Collective Action for Safe Spaces

Youth Education

RVAP offers a variety of youth educational & prevention programs that provide the knowledge, empowerment, & tools necessary to end sexual violence. These programs are intentionally designed to be age appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school aged students.  RVAP currently facilitates the evidence based Safe Dates and the Bringing in the Bystander curriculum. RVAP can also customize programs for your students’ needs.  To learn more about education & prevention offerings contact the RVAP Community Education & Prevention Coordinator, Lori Bishop-Ley at 319-335-6001 or email at