A nearly 900-thousand dollar federal grant will be used to create regional teams of prosecutors, cops and social workers to respond to Iowa abuse cases. Attorney General Tom Miller says the goal is to look for child abuse when there’s domestic abuse, and vice versa. Miller says the two types of abuse are often linked, but to have to separate response systems doesn’t make sense. He says Iowa’s been a leader since the 1970s in dealing with domestic violence. The goal is to create ten regional response teams to abuse cases over the next two years. The first regional response team will be in Fort Dodge and covers a six-county area. It’ll be managed by Joyce DeHaan, the director of the domestic/sexual assault outreach center in Fort Dodge. She says they offer safety and support to all victims.Laurie Schipper, the director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says the work will focus on rural Iowa. She says rural areas suffer from the “lack of syndrome,” they lack a little of almost everything. Schipper says that creates additional barriers for those trying to help battered women.Schipper says studies show that in at least a third of adult abuse cases, investigators find the children in the home were abused, too.
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