Leah Bair, who runs the Fort Dodge-based center, says such facilities face economic challenges with state and federal funding cuts, but it’s becoming more clear that people consider domestic violence a very serious issue.
“Serious enough to where our numbers actually went up last year,” Bair says. “That can be a good or a bad thing because although we’re serving more people and we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, we also try to get awareness out there so it doesn’t happen as often, but that did not work.”
Bair says more than 17 percent of Iowa women are stalked during their lifetimes. A service to honor the victims of domestic violence is set for next week in Fort Dodge. The candlelight vigil will be held October 19th at 6 P.M. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
“We have a guest speaker who is the mother of a victim who was murdered,” Bair says. “We also have a soloist who will be singing a couple of songs. Basically, it’s a night to get together to remember those who have been murdered or experienced anything due to domestic violence.” In an effort to raise awareness and money, the center is planning a Jeans Day event on October 20th.
“Organizations, companies, banks, anywhere that maybe people aren’t allowed to wear jeans on a typical workday, they donate $5 and they get to wear jeans,” Bair says. “Then, when their customers come in and ask why they’re wearing jeans, that gets more awareness out into the community about what we do.”
There are 26 locations in Iowa that provide services for domestic violence. Learn more at the website for the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence: www.icadv.org
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)