September 22, 2010; Source: Readmedia |The seemingly never-ending recession—despite official claims that things started picking up in June 2009—takes its tolls in many ways. One sad example comes from eye-opening statistics the Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline released on Wednesday that show that calls for help are up 31 percent over the same period—January to June—last year. “This is a significant increase,” says hotline coordinator Diana Smith, “but not a surprise.”
A statement from Children & Families of Iowa, the nonprofit that operates the hotline, attributes this alarming jump in calls to the current economic woes and its bad side effects, including unemployment, which the group says leads some people to take out their frustration through violence. The hotline operates around the clock, all week long, and provides callers with free, confidential referral and counseling.
Along with a climb in calls to the hotline, the number of people seeking a safe haven at the Children & Families of Iowa’s Domestic Violence shelter also is up for the year. Officials report that this year the numbers who have been served at its shelter climbed to 1,419, compared to 1,281 last year. The shelter reports full capacity just about every night. These statistics also confirm another sad fact that “one in three women will be affected by domestic violence in her lifetime,” according to the hotline’s Smith.—Bruce Trachtenberg