Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins October 1 and the Iowa City Police Department would like to remind the community of the resources available to those who are currently experiencing or who have experienced domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched in 1987 in order to connect the various entities working on domestic violence issues while also raising awareness. Since that time, more support is being offered to domestic violence victims, more abusers are being held accountable, and legislation has been created or updated to support victims.
NCADV reports that 35.3 percent of Iowa woman and 29.3 percent of Iowa men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. Between January 2015 and March 2020, 325 Iowans were killed in domestic violence incidents, according to NCADV. In 2018, domestic violence accounted for 20 percent of all violent crime in the state.
Domestic Violence in Iowa City
Locally, there were 869 instances of relationship violence reported to the Iowa City Police Department in 2020, resulting in 255 arrests. There have been more than 700 such reports so far this year.
The department is committed to providing victims of domestic violence with the best service possible, employing two staff dedicated to assisting them through the process. Police Officers are educated and trained to identify domestic violence and make sure victims are connected to appropriate resources:
Domestic Violence Investigator, Zachary Murguia: Funded in part by the United States Department of Justice, the department's Domestic Violence Investigator follows up on all domestic abuse reports taken by officers. The investigator is responsible for contacting the victim, furthering the investigation and working with the Johnson County Attorney's Office on prosecution, as needed. They work with the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) and other service agencies in order to ensure the victims have the support and resources they need. Investigator Murguia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victim Services Coordinator, Ann Thompson: As a non-sworn/civilian employee, the Victim Services Coordinator focuses on building connections and partnerships with the community and providing services to all victims of crime. Being a liaison between the police department and victims, the coordinator provides follow up calls and crisis intervention to those impacted by trauma from crimes committed against them. Ann can be reached at email@example.com.
Both the Domestic Violence Investigator and Victim Services Coordinator work closely with those who report domestic violence, and can provide connections to an array of agencies in Iowa City that assist survivors. Both staff members work closely with DVIP to ensure those experiencing or who have experienced domestic violence are connected with the resources they need. A list of Domestic Violence Awareness Month events hosted by DVIP can be found here.
Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague declared October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can read the proclamation here.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence, contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275 to be connected to the appropriate resources.