FOREST CITY | October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Students involved with the criminal justice club at Waldorf University held a free will bake sale in support of domestic violence victims.

According to safehorizon.org, “half of all women and men will experience psychological aggression from an intimate partner during their lifetime” and 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will encounter a partner with physical violence at some point in their lifetime.

Crisis Intervention Services was created to help domestic abuse victims heal and move on from their ordeals. Heather Yeoman worked for Crisis Intervention Services from 2011-2015 and began as the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator, and then became the supervisor of the agency’s sexual assault program which served 10 counties.

“I am incredibly passionate about the mission of the agency and wanted to stay involved as a volunteer once I made the career transition to Waldorf,” Yeoman said.

In 1977, the NIAD Center for Human Development (NCHD) began as a drop-in center, mainly centered on the needs of those who were displaced, especially rural women during the time. A year later, the NCHD was asked to plan a crisis intervention service to help victims of domestic violence.

Originally called The Door Opener, the service agency covered an eight-county area. In 1982, the name was changed to Crisis Intervention Service (CIS) and is the only NCHD-based project still up and running today.

CIS opened its first shelter for abused women and their children in 1991, and throughout the years new programs would open in other cities and counties in northern Iowa such as a sexual assault/domestic violence program in Kossuth County as well as satellite offices in Charles City, Hampton and Forest City.

CIS now offers help in central Iowa counties such as Butler, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Webster and Wright counties. Crisis Intervention Service’s mission is to provide persons affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and homicide with professional, confidential, 24-hour services including safety and support and to prevent violence in our communities through education.

“I strongly believe that those who have a voice must speak for those who don’t. Victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse are silenced by oppression,” Yeoman said, “I am passionate about affecting change, and I am especially proud to work for a university that partners with Crisis Intervention Service to provide services for students.”

If you or someone you know is looking for help, you can find help at www.csihelps.org.

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