Just over one-third of the cases Iowa Legal Aid handled in the past year were related to family and domestic violence issues. The agency provides legal representation for Iowa’s poor and Iowa Legal Aid executive director Dennis Groenenboom says quick resolution of cases related to domestic violence are crucial for the youngest in the home.
"When people are living in households with domestic violence, that impacts the children in many, many ways," he says. "It certainly impacts their ability to succeed in school and ultimately lead successful lives free of violence themselves." Iowa Legal Aid closed 16-thousand cases in the past year. But another 10,000 cases had to be turned away.
Iowa Legal Aid is primarily bankrolled by taxpayer dollars, although there are private fundraising campaigns underway. "We have an annual campaign for equal justice where we ask people to donate and help support this service to low income Iowans," he says. "…Efforts are continually underway to raise additional funds." Iowa Legal Aid was established 30 years ago. Groenenboom made his comments during an appearance on Iowa Public Radio.