To the editor:
Oct. 1 was the start to Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women's advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels. These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year the first national toll-free hotline was begun. In 1989 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress. Such legislation has passed every year since with NCADV providing key leadership in this effort."
Statistics show that domestic violence has probably touched either you or someone you know. At least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family. There have been 239 Iowans murdered due to domestic violence since Jan. 1, 1995. Of the 239 Iowans, 160 of them have been women, 28 men, and 51 bystanders. So far in 2012 there have been five women, one bystander and two babies-in-utero killed due to domestic violence. I encourage you to help us at the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center to try and put an end to this cruel and dehumanizing issue by becoming a volunteer at your local shelter, donate household goods or make a monetary donation, help domestic violence programs raise funds or find volunteers for specific items, suggest that your local church, civic organization, community group, etc., sponsor a project for the local shelter, and most importantly help spread the word that domestic violence is not OK.
Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center