October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” and an outreach coordinator in central Iowa says 50% of women will experience some type of violence in their lifetime. Sue Tufte is the outreach coordinator for the Jasper County Domestic Violence Alternatives/Sexual Assault Center. Tufte says getting out of a physically abusive situation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Tufte says some of the women say fear of the unknown is worse than the known, so if they are still in the situation they feel they can still protect themselves and their kids and know where the man is at, instead of not knowing where the man is, and what he is doing. She says the victim’s chances of being seriously injured go up 75-percent when they attempt to leave the abuser. Tufte says victims are often financially dependent on the abuser, and it’s all part of their power over the victim.

Tufte says the main objective of the barterer, no matter what else is going on, is “power and control.” Tufte says baterers will try to blame their actions on other things, but she says that is a cover up. She says the battering doesn’t happen because the person is drunk or high, it’s because they have a “control issue,” and that is why they do what they do.

Tufte says her office has a number of free services available for victims as do other centers. Tufte spoke at a forum on domestic violence at the DMACC campus in Newton.

By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton