Guest Columnist

Working to end domestic violence in the corridor

Cards designed by kids in the Domestic Violence Intervention Program are sold at the DVIP fundraiser
Cards designed by kids in the Domestic Violence Intervention Program are sold at the DVIP fundraiser "Holiday at Heart" at the North Ridge Pavilion in Coralville, Iowa on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but domestic abuse affects people in every demographic in the corridor every day.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of intentional behavior, including physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. The goal is power and control over an intimate partner. It is not a matter of anger management: most abusers manage their tempers well at work, in the community, etc.

More than one in three women and more than one in four men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

It’s not easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. Check these warning signs: www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

The Pat Meyer Vision Award Ceremony

The Johnson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (JCCADV) observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month by awarding the Pat Meyer Vision Award to a local individual and a business or organization for their work to prevent or end domestic violence or their support of domestic violence survivors. Ending domestic violence was and is Pat Meyer’s vision. Meyer founded the first domestic violence shelter in Iowa City and was the first director of DVIP, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program. She is one of our local leaders who continues to deserve our honor and gratitude.

This year the award to an individual goes to Lois K. Cox and the award to an organization goes to United Action for Youth.

The Pat Meyer Vision Awards will be presented Thursday, October 24, at noon at the Iowa City Public Library. A simple lunch will be provided. The community is welcome.

Domestic Abuse in Iowa City

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Iowa City domestic abuse stats for the first six months of 2019: (In parentheses are the numbers from last year at this time.)

• Six cases involving the use/display of guns. (0)

• Eight cases involving the use/display of knives. (1)

• 137 cases involving alcohol use/intoxication. (54)

• 31 cases of strangulation. (15)

• 53 cases with children physically present during the incident. (56)

• 108 victims injured. (39)

• 24 suspects injured. (14)

• 0 domestic assault fatalities of victims or their children. (0)

• 680 DV related calls for service this year.

In 2017, the Iowa City Police Department and all other agencies in Johnson County have implemented a research-based risk assessment program called ODARA, the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment, as a pilot program for the State of Iowa. Officers use the ODARA score to assign a risk level to each domestic assault offender after the arrest. That number is then used by the judicial system and other programs to provide an appropriate response, congruent to the needs of that specific offender. You can find more information on ODARA and the form online.

In Cedar Rapids, the number of domestic abuse assaults by year from 2012 to 2018: 567 — 569 — 572 — 520 — 489 — 585 — 608.

The number of calls for service coded “domestic disturbance” has increased in recent years, from 4,362 in 2012 to 5,714 in 2018.

Local resources:

Johnson County: Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) Hotline: 319-351-1043. Toll Free: 800-373-1043.

Linn County: Waypoint: 24 hour Crisis & Support Line 319-363-2093 or 800-208-0388

Johnson County: RVAP: Rape Victim Advocacy Program. Crisis Line: 319-335-6000 or 800-228-1625

Annie Tucker is director of Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa and member of the Johnson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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