In our 2017 end of year appeal sent out to supporters in all 8 of our service counties in Southeastern Iowa, we shared a portion of 3 survivors stories. Due to the amazing responses we have received over the past month we wanted to share them with you. If you relate, have questions about your own situation, or concerns for a loved one please do not hesitate to call our hotline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800.373.1043. You are not alone. We are here to help!
Our 24-hour hotline received a call from the local hospital that they had a patient in need of an advocate, we dispatched our on-call staff at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon (when other resources were closing for the weekend) to sit with Stephanie while she waited for an exam and her broken arm to be set in a cast. After discussing what options Stephanie had for her safety, she worked with advocates to determine emergency shelter was her best option after being released from the hospital. Stephanie had just moved to the area at the beginning of the summer, and though she knew people at her office, she did not have anywhere to turn. After hours in the hospital answering doctor and police questions, she arrived at our emergency shelter with only the clothes on her back. Our advocates began the slow process of helping Stephanie put the pieces of her life back together in the safety of shelter. In her time of utmost fear and worry, DVIP was able to provide her with clothing, food, and a gas card. Though her road to safety is far from over, having support and a place to go that night may have saved her life.
Alicia’s story was similar, she had called our hotline a few times over the past year unsure of what to do, her husband controlled all of the finances even though she worked part-time at a local grocer and he only got “out of control” when he drank. But things had begun to get much worse. He was constantly throwing objects at her and threatening her in front of their two children, ages 4 and 8. Alicia was convinced that he was indeed going to do something to her or her children as his outbursts and threats had become a nearly nightly terror, despite how quietly or perfectly the three of them followed his rules. Our advocates helped Alicia make a plan to leave the home when he left for work on Monday morning. She would put the children on the bus as usual and then pick them up later on in the morning on her way to the emergency shelter where advocates could assist her in planning the next steps for her and her children. Working with DVIP helped Alicia keep her children safe.
Carrie had heard at church about the services DVIP provided. As she was only allowed to socialize at church functions, she had very little chance to reach out to DVIP. Her husband of 40 years had isolated her on their farm in southern Iowa for what seemed like forever. She had no idea there were options available for her until she picked up our flyer in the church bathroom. Carrie called the DVIP advocate number on the flyer the following Sunday from the phone in the church office. She was able to arrange for the advocate to meet her during her usual bible study at the church. The DVIP advocate was able to meet Carrie multiple weeks in a row to work on a safety plan, provide her with an emergency phone and discuss options available to her. With a plan in place, she was able to see hope and have faith in her future.
There is more than one way to get help, and Domestic Violence Intervention Program advocates are dedicated to finding what way is best for each victim. If you or a loved one is in need of our help please reach out to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800.373.1043