Tulsa's DVIS and Call Rape merge

Monday, January 10th 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

A major merger for Tulsa's helping hands. Domestic Violence Intervention Services and Call Rape are joining forces to better help survivors of violence.

Despite good intentions, the process wasn't without its challenges. News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says folks have been tossing around the idea of combining DVIS and Call Rape for the past 12 years.

Serious talks have been in the works since 1998. Many saw Monday's merger as inevitable. Call Rape was the only sexual assault support agency left in Oklahoma. All the other sexual assault agencies in the state have been absorbed by larger domestic violence services. Tulsa's Call Rape program was fighting budget difficulties and its staff had dwindled down to just five employees. Now three of those five are joining DVIS and are allowing DVIS to provide services they couldn't before.

The challenge in front of DVIS was picking up where Call Rape left off. Felicia Collins Correia, DVIS Executive Director: "I hate not knowing something and right now there's a lot I don't know about sexual assault, and so there's a learning curve that needs to occur within our organization and we're in the process of learning."

The merger isn't easy for the Call Rape employees left behind. Folks from Call Rape and DVIS say the important thing to know is that none of the programs will be cut. That's especially true for the Call Rape hotline, 744-RAPE.