The Oskaloosa Herald
On Monday, Crisis Intervention Services welcomed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime, and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. These are people many already know — coworkers, neighbors and family members.
Since 1997, Crisis Intervention Services has worked to end all forms of domestic violence and sexual abuse through prevention and life skills education, intervention, and outreach services to empower victims, families and the community. CIS provides a multitude of services, including 24-hour crisis response, shelter, transitional housing, financial assistance and economic advocacy, short-term counseling, legal and medical advocacy and transportation.
The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on local programs working to serve survivors of abuse. While a bad economy does not cause domestic violence, it can make it worse. At the same time, there are fewer options for survivors to escape.
According to the 2012 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey, nearly eight out of 10 domestic violence shelters nationwide reported an increase in women seeking help, while the vast majority experienced decreases in funding.
Unfortunately, that has been true for Crisis Intervention Services. CIS saw an increase of 29 percent in the number of clients served in fiscal year 2012, providing advocacy to 944 unduplicated clients. CIS’s bed nights increased by 72 percent from 3,169 bed nights to 5,461 bed nights in fiscal year 2012.
The need is greater than ever, but all Iowa domestic violence programs saw a 10 percent cut in their funding for fiscal year 2013.
Domestic violence affects not only the victim and her children, but her classmates, co-workers, friends, family and community.
For more information on how to help, contact CIS at (641) 673-0336 or email@example.com.
A 24-hour, seven-day-a-week crisis line is available at (641) 673-5499 or 1-800-270-1620. Non-emergency services are available at the CIS office in the United Way building at 500 High Ave. West Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.