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Domestic Violence Survival, Prevention, and Hope

Elvert Barnes —
The Domestic Violence Awareness Mural: "A Survivor's Journey" (2010) by Joel Bergner - Brooklyn Neighborhood 12th Street, NE, Washington DC. April 6, 2011

This program originally aired on 1-08-18.

Domestic violence usually happens in private. It is unseen and underreported. Helping a loved one in an abusive relationship can be easier said than done. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with guests about this common type of abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some kind of violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

The program begins with the story of a survivor, Tiffany Allison, and it includes descriptions of being physically assaulted.

Lindsay Pingel is Director of Community Engagement at Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Des Moines. She says intimate partner violence is "an epidemic; it's a health crisis. It absolutely is a problem that impacts anyone regardless of age race, gender, economic status. It thrives in secrecy and shame."

Pingel estimates their services assisted 30,000 victims across the state last year.

Allison is Founder and President of the Soaring Hearts Foundation and she is a survivor of domestic violence. Allison says that her abuser had a way of making her feel responsible for the violence.

"I'm a person who always looks for the good in other people. And I thought that I was in love with who needed help and needed my help. And so it was very hard to try to break that tie. When anything did happen, he was always putting the responsibility on me, whether that it was my fault that it happened. or whether it was that he needed my help to get the help he needed," Allison says.

She adds that it is also complicated trying to navigate getting someone out of your life who you live with.

Also joining the program are Toria Jones, Sexual Assault Advocate for Webster County at Crisis Intervention Service and Hieu Pham, Assistant Director of Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa.

The conversation also covers intervention, prevention, and how steep state level funding cuts have affected this kind of work in Iowa.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa