DES MOINES, IA (09/22/2010)(readMedia)-- Calls to the Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline, operated by Children & Families of Iowa, are up 31 percent from last year at this same time, the 122-year old nonprofit organization reports. These statistics are based on the number of hotline calls received from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010 compared to the same time period the previous year.
"This is a significant increase," says Children & Families of Iowa's hotline coordinator Diana Smith, "but not a surprise." The economy and unemployment can add pressure to a bad situation, making it worse and leading to increased violence, according to Smith.
"Domestic Violence is a big problem," she explains. "Statistics show that one in three women will be affected by DV in her lifetime. That's inconceivable to most people."
The statewide, toll-free number, 1.800.942.0333, is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides free, confidential referral and counseling. The hotline is funded primarily by the Iowa Department of Justice Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD) and in part by United Way of Central Iowa.
The number of individuals served by Children & Families of Iowa's Domestic Violence shelter is also on the rise. According to Marlene Wozniczka, shelter supervisor, last year the organization served 1,281 at their shelter located in Polk County. This year that total increased to 1,419. "We've been running at capacity (62 beds) and beyond, nightly, with just a few exceptions," she says.
This stands to reason since the hotline is often the first step to reaching safety. When hotline calls increase, shelter occupancy soon follows, according to Wozniczka.
Materials that promote the hotline are available by calling Diana Smith, 515.471.8699, ext. 118 or by sending an email to email@example.com. These materials include hotline mirror clings, safety cards and physician pocket cards.
For more information about Children & Families of Iowa's Domestic Violence Services, visit their website: www.cfiowa.org.
Children & Families of Iowa is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring hope, building futures and changing lives. Offices in Ankeny, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Osceola and Ottumwa allow the organization to restore hope for victims of domestic violence, create safe homes for children and help people reshape their lives statewide.