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Honor those working to end domestic violence

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Martha Pierce, guest columnist

Domestic abuse affects people in every demographic in the Corridor.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of intentional behavior, including physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, aimed at gaining power and control over an intimate partner. It is not a matter of anger management.

More than one woman in three and one in four men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Police in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids investigate hundreds of domestic abuse cases each year.

That’s why Johnson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October by honoring a local individual and a business or organization for their work to prevent or end domestic violence by presenting them with the Pat Meyer Vision Award.

Ending domestic violence was and is Pat Meyer’s vision. Meyer founded the first shelter in Iowa City and was the first director of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program. She continues to deserve our honor and gratitude.

To nominate an individual, business or organization for this award, please visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/NNJSCGX Nominations are accepted through tomorrow.

The Pat Meyer Vision Awards will be presented on Oct. 25 at 12 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library. A simple lunch will be provided. The community is welcome.

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive, or to know if a friend or loved one is suffering abuse. Warning signs include frequent physical injuries, frequent absences from work or school. People who are being abused may be restricted from seeing family or friends, may have limited access to money, credit cards or the car. They may have very low self-esteem, become withdrawn, depressed, anxious or suicidal.

Educate yourself about how you can help prevent sexual violence by being an active bystander. Learn what to say to someone when you think they are being abused.

Educate yourself:

For help, in Johnson County, call the DVIP Hotline at (319) 351-1043 or (800) 373-1043. In Linn County, call the Waypoint 24 hour Crisis & Support Line: (319) 363-2093 or (800) 208-0388.

• Martha Pierce is the volunteer coordinator at the Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Iowa City. Comments: (319) 351-1043; martha@dvipiowa.org

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