A northwest Iowa woman is hoping her work to document stories of domestic violence survivors will help free other victims from their abusive relationships. Katie Thompson is a photographer and writer from Hartley who has also lived through an abusive relationship. Thompson says she left her fiancee about six years ago.
"I started doing a lot of counseling at that point, several years of very regular counseling," Thompson said. "For me, that’s what helped me get my life back on track." Thompson has compiled a book from interviews with 31 Iowa women who struggled through abusive relationships. Last year, she toured the state with an exhibit featuring photos and excerpts from the book.
"I see that any kind of woman can end up being in one of these messy situations," Thompson said. "It sometimes can start as an adult when some kind of trauma happens in your life, you become a little less stable and then you become vulnerable to someone who is wanting to manipulate you." The book, titled "31," will be released in October which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For her next book, Thompson says she plans to interview 31 men who grew up in homes with abusive fathers or mothers.
"People forgot that for almost every one of these women, there are children that are seeing and learning very bad things," Thompson said. "Some of them grow up to be abusers, but a lot of them grow up wounded and have difficulties." Thompson spoke last week at a statehouse press conference, where crime-victim advocates issued a warning about a potential loss in state funding for several programs in Iowa.