The Iowa Voices Project Tour features the portraits of 31 domestic abuse survivors in Iowa, all of whom use their real names and tell their own stories. The tour will visit nine Iowa cities during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sarabeth Anderson is development director for the sponsor, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Anderson says, "Each of these women has put herself out there for others to see and we really did this as a way of trying to break down any stereotypes that people might have in their minds about what an abuse victim is like." She says there is no "typical" victim of domestic violence and that’s what the Iowa Voices Project Tour is all about.
Anderson says, "These women are from every part of the state. They are from virtually every ethnicity that’s represented in our state and also ages and educational backgrounds. The youngest woman is 19 and the oldest woman is 64." Anderson said the pictures and stories will be compiled into a book which they hope to release in October of 2009.
"We really hope it’s something people will read and be able to relate to," Anderson says. "We hope that it helps some women avoid domestic violence situations and that it helps others understand it. People ask who our audience is and I really feel like it’s everyone." The tour is visiting the following cities during the month: Des Moines, Davenport, Keokuk, Creston, Council Bluffs, Fort Dodge, Forest City, Ottumwa and Sioux Center. For more information log onto the Iowa Voices Project website .