October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we join the area organizations and officials in reminding North Iowa neighbors to be vocal, stand up and speak out for victims.
It's the easiest, and most effective, thing you can do.
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On our news pages in 2018, we've written about no fewer than 60 incidents of domestic violence in Cerro Gordo County alone that resulted in an arrest. They were located in our largest communities and smallest towns, in the poorest neighborhoods and richest developments.
It's a behavior that cares little about class but is unquestionably learned. Boys who grow up in abusive environments are 10 times more likely to abuse in their adult relationships.
The only way to stop that cycle is for other adults – family, friends, coworkers, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges – to speak up.
The North Iowa Domestic and Sexual Abuse Community Coalition hosted its annual Remember My Name event last week. Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals was among the speakers.
“If we work together, we can reduce the violence of domestic incidents,” he said. “If you see something, say something.”
The Crisis Intervention Service, which provides support to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in North Iowa, offers these guidelines for confronting an abuser:
• Tell them you feel uncomfortable when they insult or put down their spouse or partner.
• Tell them that their behavior disturbs you.
• Tell them you care about them and urge them to get help.
• Don’t agree with any statements that suggest their partner deserved the abuse.
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In helping victims, CIS says to do this:
• Take the time to listen and believe what your friend says.
• Don’t downplay the danger.
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• Don’t judge or criticize your friend’s choices.
• Give emotional support.
• Offer to help with transportation or child care.
• Express concern for your friend’s safety.
• Tell your friend about agencies that can help.
• Stick by your friend and be patient. Getting out of an abusive relationship can take time.
Taking into account the history of the learned trait and the words from Pals, we have another tip: tell law enforcement.
The abused and those closest to them need as many people on their side as possible, and law enforcement has the resources to prevent situations from becoming deadly. But they have to know about it first.
Help for domestic abuse is available 24 hours a day through CIS at 855-424-9133. Services are free and confidential.
We congratulate the winners and finalists at the inaugural Pappajohn Entrepreneur Gala, recognizing North Iowa's best and brightest in business.
Entrepreneurs and businesses across North Iowa were recognized in four categories: Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, the Innovation Award and Business of the Year.
Fittingly, John and Mary Pappajohn were honored with the Pappajohn Entrepreneur Legacy Award. The award recognizes an entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to North Iowa through their vision, their passion, and their leadership.
We look forward to seeing this event grow, recognizing key contributors to North Iowa commerce and quality of life.