Funding for Domestic Abuse Services In Limbo Amid Shutdown

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DES MOINES, Iowa–  While some government employees go without paychecks, some federally funded victim assault programs in the metro are nervously waiting in limbo.

Among the federal agencies helping fund Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault is the Department of Justice, one of nine federal departments now shutdown.

Iowa CASA has 25 programs offering, counseling, support hotlines, and emergency services. They could all be at risk.

“Many of those programs actually rely on federal funding so with the government shutdown obviously everything is up in the air now,” Matty Smith with Iowa CASA said.

Services that a growing number of Iowans count on.

“The first time my abuser put his hands on me was a year before he tried to kill me,” survivor Sima Nayeri said.

Nayeri says her ex-husband nearly beat her to death five years ago.

“That night when he was strangling me for the last time, I heard gurgling noises and I couldn’t hear it in my throat, but I knew it was me,” Nayeri said.

Her then two-year-old son was home when the abuse happened.

“In the current era we are in survivors are reaching out to victim services more that makes it even more vital we offer services when and where people need them,” said Smith.

For now, Iowa CASA is operating business as usual. All services are up and running and no employees have been furloughed.

As for Sima, she is on the road to recovery.

“Those services helped me feel not alone I felt like I could call somebody and talk to somebody and it didn’t matter what time it was they would answer the phone and talk to me,” Nayeri said.

She says her experience has changed her life but with the love of her family and the support of victims services she is able to try and move on.


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