A new report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows nearly 1 in 4 Iowa women have been the victim of domestic violence. The 12 month study found 23.1 percent of the women and 13.7 percent of men questioned said they have been hit by a domestic partner in their lifetime.
Binnie LeHew, with the Iowa Department of Public Health, says violence prevention methods are most effective when they’re presented to children before they become teenagers. One such program used in Iowa is called "Safe Dates."
LeHew says at least 20 communities in the state use the program that teaches young people about healthy dating relationships. Several schools in Sioux City are using another program known as "MVP." LeHew says the Mentor in Violence Prevention program targets young men to intervene when they witness violence against women. The state also has counselors available 24/7 for victims of abuse. They can be reached on The Iowa Domestic Abuse Hotline.
"It’s also a resource for anyone who has questions or doesn’t quite know if their situation is abusive or if family or friends who are looking for ideas to help their loved ones be safer," LeHew said. The Hotline is 1-800-942-0333.