‘It’s a significant increase in one year’ - Domestic violence programs see increase in people reaching out for help

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - According to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City police departments, domestic violence reports and cases were up in 2021 from 2020 in *both* cities.

According to Cedar Rapids Police in 2020 they had 94 Domestic Abuse calls. In 2021, that number was 132. That’s a 40% increase.

In Iowa City, there was an increase of 89 incidents from 2020 to 2021 including reports and cases under the umbrella term of domestic violence which includes things like harassment and violation of no contact orders. That’s a 10% increase.

In 2021, Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Iowa City served over 2,100 clients. In 2020, that number was just shy of two thousand.

”It’s a significant increase in one year. To see that kind of a change,” said Kristie Fortmann-Doser.

Fortmann-Doser, Executive Director of DVIP said since the pandemic began in 2020, they saw a 28% increase in their crisis line calls.

One thing she wants people to know is domestic violence impacts people right at home... and is perpetrated by the one person that knows everything about them.

”Somebody who is perpetrating domestic violence has an unprecedented level of access and capacity to manipulate that environment and to create an untenable situation for a victim,” said Fortmann-Doser.

She added it’s important for victims of domestic violence to have programs and a place to go when they may not have anywhere else to turn.

Alexis Chadwick, Program Coordinator for Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Program said while their numbers weren’t up, they’re seeing more victims coming to them through other organizations like law enforcement.

”So, maybe, survivors are feeling more comfortable reaching out to law enforcement first if they’re getting a helpful response. That’s then leading to higher calls. So, it’s not to say that there’s more violence happening but, just it’s being documented in a way that is more public for people and hopefully opening up doors for those survivors to get the help that they need,” said Chadwick.

You can call DVIP on their hotline anytime at 800-373-1043 or for Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Resource & Support Line at 800-208-0388.

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