Over 26,000 Iowans — mostly women — sought help last year after being abused by a spouse or partner. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Iowa and Laurie Schipper of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence says to mark the month they’ll have stories published in Iowa newspapers.
Formerly battered women telling their stories in their own voices," she says. An author has collected the first-person accounts and Schipper hopes to have them assembled into a book. "We are very, very proud of the women for taking that risk and doing such a beautiful job with that project," she says.
Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge says speaking out about abuse isn’t easy. "It’s not easy to be public about something that’s very personal and something that’s very difficult in your life," Judge says. "I know that takes a lot of courage."
Judge met this morning in her statehouse office with a dozen advocates for domestic abuse victims. "We believe that we will succeed only when we all succeed and only when we all can lead happy, productive lives," Judge told the group.
About 4,000 Iowans were housed in a domestic violence shelter last year. The other 22,000 Iowans identified as victims of domestic abuse were able to find accommodations with friends or relatives, but sought counseling, job counseling and other services from programs which help victims, most of which operate out of shelters. There are 22 shelters around the state for victims of domestic violence.