October is “Domestic Violence Prevention Month” and a counselor in north-central Iowa says it’s a problem that’s far too prevalent in Iowa. Marie Harvey is the assistant director of the Fort Dodge based Domestic Sexual Assault Outreach Center.

“Since January 1, 1995, there have been 239 people killed in domestic violence murders (in Iowa),” Harvey said. “In 2012 alone, there have been three women, one bystander and two babies in utero who’ve been added to the list.” In 2011, nine people were killed in Iowa as a result of domestic violence.

Harvey said budget cuts at the state and local level have made it more difficult in recent years to help victims and promote domestic violence prevention. “We really focus on donations from the communities and grants…in order to survive and help all of these victims and survivors,” Harvey said.

Data from the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows more than 24,000 victims were served in the state in 2010. There are a host of events scheduled around the state to recognize Domestic Violence Prevention Month – including a vigil on October 23 at 6 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge.

Harvey said the event will feature guest speaker Robin Caldwell, a domestic violence survivor.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City