DES MOINES, Iowa — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the non-profit organization Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence said it has seen a steady increase in incidents involving domestic violence since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the coalition applauded the state’s “Safe at Home” program for keeping survivors safe.
The “Safe at Home” program is designed to protect a survivor’s information.
“It was great to see a program go through both the House and the Senate at the state level,” said Lindsay Pingel, the nonprofit’s director of community engagement. “And a very bipartisan effort. Everyone jumped on board with it and it was a great step in showing support for survivors across the state.”
According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, last year, every county in Iowa experienced at least one domestic violence conviction, leading to more than 2,700 convictions.
The nonprofit says this year men have also reached out for assistance.
“There can sometimes be a message that we only support women and not men and that’s not true,” said Pingel. “Knowing that more men who are being impacted are reaching out for services is always positive because we always want everyone to know that our services are here for them.”
You can support survivors of domestic violence by participating in “Purple Thursday” on Oct. 22. All you have to do is wear something purple.