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Violence Against Marginalized Communities: A Different Kind of Epidemic

Violence Against Marginalized Communities: A Different Kind of Epidemic

November is National Native American Heritage Month. November 20th marks the start of Homicide Victim Awareness Month and it is also Transgender Day or Remembrance. November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. That’s a lot of important observances for just one month, and I didn’t want to let any of them go unacknowledged. At the intersection of all of these important dates, I[...]

Takeaways from Netflix Limited Series "Maid"

Takeaways from Netflix Limited Series "Maid"

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that a new limited series, “Maid,” debuted on Netflix on October 1st, the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The story is inspired by a real survivor’s experience, although names and details are changed, characters are added, etc. The story follows Alex, a single mom who left her emotionally abusive and alcoholic husband in the middle of the night with[...]

Boys and Men, We Believe You Too

Boys and Men, We Believe You Too

If you haven’t been following the abuse case involving Hollywood celebrities Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, now might be a good time to look through some of the details around the case. Here’s a brief synopsis though: Amber Heard made domestic abuse allegations against her spouse, Johnny Depp. His career was plummeting, until audio proof was released in which Heard admitted to committing physical abuse against[...]

A Back to School Letter to College Students

A Back to School Letter to College Students

The first few weekends of college can really make or break your entire college experience. Your residence hall staff will probably tell you that the best time to get out and make new friends in college is in the first few weeks. That window is when everyone else is looking for new friends too. Some of you are trying to figure out which fraternity or sorority you want to join, or what club to be a part of. And[...]

Sound of Survival: Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” is More than Just a Patriotic Anthem

Sound of Survival: Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” is More than Just a Patriotic Anthem

Fourth of July came and went and I’m guessing we all heard our fair share of seemingly patriotic anthems. As it happens, some of our favorite holiday hits aren’t about the USA at all. While there are quite a few that I could name, one of the most popular is “Independence Day” by Martina McBride. The title might deceive you into thinking this is just another Fourth of July tune, but a deeper listen[...]

Survivor Series: Pride Edition - "A Collective Experience of Emotional Abuse for the LGBTQ Community"

Survivor Series: Pride Edition - "A Collective Experience of Emotional Abuse for the LGBTQ Community"

*Trigger Warning: This blog post talks about suicide.

It’s Pride month, so of course I had to write my first blog about the LGBTQ community. However, I have to be honest and say that while Pride is about celebration, the majority of this blog is not very happy. I want to celebrate, but I want to create understanding and change more. That being said if you are a part of the queer community, I hope this blog post helps[...]

Mental Health Awareness Month: You Are Not Alone

Mental Health Awareness Month: You Are Not Alone

“You Are Not Alone.” This is a phrase that shows up often in our social media posts, on our website, in our other blogs posts, in presentations we give, and during our calls. So when I saw that same phrase as the amplified message for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) this month for Mental Health Awareness Month, I started reflecting on why this phrase is so important. It might seem like we use that[...]

Developmental Disabilities and Abuse: How Can You Help?

Developmental Disabilities and Abuse: How Can You Help?

Abuse can happen to people in all walks of life, and as a general rule, we should be on the lookout for the signs of abuse in all of our friends and family members. But through no fault of their own, certain populations can be especially vulnerable to abuse. March is National Developmental Disabilities Month. In a perfect world, National Developmental Disabilities Month should be about celebrating the contributions that[...]

Teen Dating Violence: Beyond the Perfect Valentine's Day Photos

Teen Dating Violence: Beyond the Perfect Valentine's Day Photos

Many young people look forward to February because of Valentine’s Day. After all, what could possibly be bad about a whole day dedicated to celebrating love? For some, it really is a beautiful opportunity to go on a fun date, buy chocolate and flowers, and celebrate one another. But here at the Iowa Victim Service Call Center, we know that “love” is often used to describe relationships that are anything[...]

Stalking: Recognizing the Signs

Stalking: Recognizing the Signs

Back in September 2018, a popular television show called “You” was released on Netflix. The show takes viewers through a whirlwind of events that highlight a stalking situation from the stalker’s perspective. As the show nears its 3rd season, it seems to get more far-fetched with each episode. This makes it easy to ignore the little signs of stalking in real life because they aren’t “that[...]