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Sunday, May 1, 2016

CAASA names new Cherokee/Ida Coordinator

Monday, July 23, 2012

Julie Schulenberg, left, former CAASA Coordinator for Cherokee and Ida Counties, has passed over her duties to Connie Tofteberg, who has been named the new CAASA Coordinator for Cherokee and Ida Counties. Schulenberg was named CAASA Executive Director recently. The pair are pictured here at the new Cherokee CAASA Office, located on the Second Floor of the Ginzberg Building on the campus of the Cherokee MHI. Photo by Mike Leckband
Connie Tofteberg was recently named the new Centers Against Abuse & Sexual Assault (CAASA) for Cherokee and Ida Counties.

Tofteberg has been living in Cherokee for the past couple of years after her family moved here from Alaska with her husband Chris Tofteberg, who is the Business Manager at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute.

She takes over the position held by Julie Schulenberg, who has been named the new Executive Director of CAASA, a position Schulenberg accepted in April. There have been many changes for the Cherokee/Ida County CAASA over the past year.

Schulenberg stated that the last couple of months have been a busy time, and looking for a new coordinator and getting the new office in Cherokee up and running.

The CAASA Office is located on the Second Floor of the Ginzberg Building on the campus of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute.

Tofteberg is looking forward to working in Cherokee. She stated, "I'm really enjoying Cherokee. It's a great community."

CAASA is currently looking at new fund-raising ideas for Victims Services. Budget cuts have affected them and Schulenberg stated that it looks like bigger cut are coming. They are hoping to build up their "Friends" in the community because they need more help.

"The numbers of abuse and sexual assault have gone up and we're learning to do more with less, but we're still here for the community," said Schulenberg.

"We have to look at affecting people more positively on less money. Our direction and goal will be more prevention education, so there is less advocacy needed later on," said Tofteberg.

Currently, CAASA does get some help from two of their second-hand stores. The New Leaf is located right here in Cherokee and Second Chances is located in Spencer. Money spent at these shops goes to help CAASA in their efforts. Spencer is also home to the Executive Offices of CAASA, and an emergency shelter for victims is also located there.

Tofteberg and Schulenberg remind people that sexual violence includes rape, sexual harassment, and incest. Making offensive jokes and comments, posting offensive images, grabbing or fondling someone, and stalking are some other examples of sexual violence.

Services provided by CAASA are: 24-hour crisis line and intervention, individual support, counseling and advocacy for adults, teens and children.

CAASA also provides support groups for adults, teens and children, emergency shelter for victims of abuse and child witnesses, and limited transportation to services.

CAASA also hosts school and community prevention programs, networking with other agencies.

CAASA serves victims and families of domestic and sexual violence in Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Palo Alto and Sac Counties.

Help is only a phone call away at 1-877-362-4612, or 225-5003. All services are confidential and free of charge to anyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, sex or capability.

Tofteberg and Schulenberg maintain that domestic violence and sexual violence is not a gender issue but a human issue.

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