Speak out against domestic violence
Wed, 10/18/2017 - 2:02pm admin
Cresco - This October is the 30th anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The numbers are staggering.
In Northeast Iowa (Allamakee—64 clients, Bremer—34, Chickasaw—23, Clayton—39, Fayette—94, Howard—29 and Winneshiek—46) in one year, there were 270 new female victims, 266 information/referrals, 94 financial assistance, 248 individual counseling, two safe home/hotel, 159 transportation trips and 1,292 crisis hotline calls.
If those numbers don’t get your attention, Helping Services for Northeast Iowa has found another way. Staff have put up adult and child silhouettes around the seven counties they serve. The life-size silent witnesses are painted purple for Domestic Abuse Awareness and have a victim’s story attached as well.
Trish Johnson, Bilingual Domestic Abuse Advocate for Howard and Bremer Counties, said the silhouette represents a person who lost his or her life to domestic abuse. Their families gave permission to give their story.
One of the silhouettes making its way around Howard County represents Amy Anderson, who was killed April 17, 2006 in Armstrong, Iowa.
Her story reads: “Amy Anderson, age 34, was shot to death by her husband, Nathan Anderson. He told his mother he was going to divorce Amy. He maintained that she was physically abusive to him and their children.
“On the date of the murder/suicide, he told his mother he was going to kill himself and Amy because his children would be better off. She immediately called her other son and police to go to the house, but the murder/suicide had already happened.
“Amy was shot while sitting in a chair paying bills. She still had the pen in her hand when found. Nathan called police to report the murder, then went inside and shot himself.
“The couple is survived by an eight-year-old daughter and two sons, ages six and four. The children were upstairs sleeping at the time of the murder/suicide.”
Johnson said the silhouettes are a reminder “it can happen in our community, and it does.”
She went on to say the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is the first year after they leave. “The partner wants control back or to get back at their ‘target.’”
Check out the signs of abuse accompanying this story. If you are being abused or think someone you know or love is being abused, contact Helping Services at 800-383-2988 or 563-382-2989.
Speak out against domestic violence. Nobody wants to see another story on a silent witness silhouette.
Want to help spread awareness? Attend the first ever Speak Out Against Domestic Abuse Trivia Night on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4-6 at The Place in Protivin. A full menu is offered. All sandwiches are $2 off, and traditional wings are 50 cents each. Not good at trivia? Purchase “Mulligans” before each round for a second guess.