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Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault records

Identifier: IWA0552

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Scope and Contents

The Iowa Coalition against Sexual Assault records date from 1979 to 2000 and measure 3 linear feet. The records are arranged in four series: Administrative files, Training, Related organizations, and Resources.

Administrative files (1979-1999) is the largest series, and accounts for over half the collection. It includes mission statements, committee meeting agendas, newsletters, quarterly reports, newspaper clippings, brochures, and memoranda. The Pornography Task Force folders include magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and lectures from the mid-1980s. The correspondence folders contain letters from rape crisis centers throughout Iowa, which describe the financial and staffing problems of crisis centers during the late 1970s. The series includes notes and agendas from staff, membership, and board of directors meetings. Aggregated data on sexual crimes reported throughout Iowa between 1986 and 1991 complete the series.

The Training series (1982-1989) contains manuals, conference materials, and course information related to educational outreach programs. This series contains training materials for people who work with victims of sexual abuse and assault and for the general public.

The Related organizations series (1983-2000) includes materials from federal, state, and local programs and organizations that interacted with the Iowa Coalition against Sexual Assault. This series contains federal reports on victim assistance programs, grant materials, newsletters, correspondence, and agendas. Two issues of The National Coalition against Sexual Assault newsletter from 1983 and 1984 complete this series.

The Resources series (1986-1999) includes legal records, correspondence, newspaper clippings, academic articles, and professional handbooks for people who assist victims of physical abuse, sexual assault, homophobia, or racism. This series contains a booklet, Crime Victims and the Media (1990), prepared by the National Victim Crime Center. Brochures and pamphlets that advertise the services provided by the Iowa Coalition against Sexual Assault complete the series.


  • Creation: 1979-2000


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

The Iowa Coalition against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA) was formed in 1981 when several independent rape crisis centers banded together to apply for grant money from the State Health Department of Iowa under the leadership of Carole Meade. Meade, who served as the director of the Polk County Rape and Sexual Assault Care Center, was elected as the first president of the board of directors of IowaCASA in 1982, the year the group was incorporated as a private, non-profit organization. Meade spearheaded efforts to coordinate the services of Iowa's thirteen sexual assault and rape crisis centers, focusing on prevention programs, meeting the needs of survivors, and education.

During IowaCASA's formative years, Meade and one clerical staff were the only two paid employees; a board of directors provided oversight. The organization soon included a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer, an advocacy committee, a finance committee, an executive committee, an education committee, and several special committees. Any adult living in Iowa could join IowaCASA upon signing a membership application and receiving the approval of the executive committee. Individual members could vote on issues brought before the membership. Regular meetings were held quarterly, and an annual meeting was held during the last quarter of each year.

In 1990, the state of Iowa's Crime Victim Assistance Division began to distribute funds to the fourteen sexual assault crisis centers located in the state; this infusion of state money enabled IowaCASA to expand its presence in Iowa. IowaCASA's services included securing funding for Iowa's sexual assault centers, resource development, public education initiatives on child sexual abuse, anti-pornography work, and self-defense training. The organization began a library of resource materials for issues related to sexual assault. IowaCASA provided training on topics such as campus rape, sexual exploitation by therapists, and the needs of adult incest survivors. During this time, IowaCASA was a vocal opponent of the media's release of rape victims' names.

By 1997, IowaCASA served thirty sexual assault crisis centers and numerous individual members of the organization across Iowa. Several paid staff positions were created during this time, including a training coordinator, a fiscal manager, and outreach staff. During this time of growth, the organization expanded its mission to include work on public policy issues. IowaCASA promoted policies to require that victim counselors be present during proceedings related to sexual crimes, to prohibit the use of polygraph as a precondition of a rape investigation, and to increase the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

In 2007, IowaCASA, which included eleven paid staff, served twenty-seven sexual assault crisis centers and individual members across Iowa. The organization provided legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault, reached out to Iowa's immigrant communities, and worked to improve responses to sexual assault in ethnic and racial minority communities in Iowa. IowaCASA also continued to engage in public policy initiatives related to sexual assault on the federal, state, and local levels.


3.00 Linear Feet

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IowaCASA's services included securing funding for Iowa's sexual assault centers, resource development, public education initiatives on child sexual abuse, anti-pornography work, and self-defense training. After 1997 IowaCasa expanded to include work on public policy.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 977) were donated by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) in 2005.

June Silliman, 2007; Karissa Haugeberg, 2008.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)