Teen Dating Violence: What parents and teens need to know

Dating Abuse

            Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year (NCADV). That’s not a small number. According to a survey through NCADV, majority (81%) of parents believe that teen dating violence is not an issue or don’t know if it’s an issue. With teen dating violence[...]

Is Abuse Romantic?

Is Abuse Romantic?

With Valentine’s Day approaching, and February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, it felt like a good time to talk about some realities our teens are facing with relationship expectations.

Let’s face it - We are all products of marketing whether we like to believe it or not: Fidget spinners, skinny jeans, name brands, etc. Everything from the clothes we wear on our backs, to the snacks we bring to[...]

Relationships: healthy, unhealthy, and abusive

As we wrap up national stalking awareness month and move onto teen dating violence awareness month, it is important to understand that the two often come hand in hand. It has been found that 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the US have been stalked in their lifetime. Of these individuals, 60.8% of females and 43.5% males report being stalked by a current or former intimate partner ( Stalking can be an[...]

Stalking Awareness Month: Tech Safety

Stalking Awareness Month: Tech Safety

Before starting my work as an advocate, the only time I had to worry about “stalking” was when someone said “Facebook stalking,” or “Instagram stalking,” etc. I came from a sheltered world where stalking seemed like a joke, and a “normal” thing to do to someone on social media platforms – not a serious matter. The reality of the matter is that stalking is easier than[...]

Domestic Violence And Stalking

7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.  That’s not a small number.  The majority of these people are stalked by someone they know. The most common tactic of stalking for both female and male victims is repeatedly receiving unwanted phone calls, voicemails, and/or text messages.

When working as an advocate that serves survivors of domestic violence, we come to realize that stalking[...]

Safety Planning With Children

Safety Planning with Children

1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of child sexual abuse. These statistics prove what a necessity it is to start having conversations about safety while children are young. These conversations can be initiated by daycare providers, teachers, parents, or anyone who works with children.

It has been shown that a majority (93%) of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attackers. [...]

What Is An Advocate?

This is the question we often get asked by friends, family, and even survivors who are wondering what kind of services we provide. If you looked “advocate” up in the dictionary you would see that it is defined as “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.” This definition simply does not give our day to day work enough credit.

 Some days, being an advocate means[...]

"So... a call center?"

I work at the Iowa Victim Service Call Center.

“So… a call center?”

I’ve heard this from friends, family, and people in general when I tell them about what I do. I can hear the tone in their voice - as if working in a call center automatically devalues my job.  I won’t lie, I understand the hesitation. When I first applied for this position a little over a year ago, I imagined a dim[...]

Text Line Available!

We have added a great new addition to the Call Center! In an effort to ensure all victims have a comfortable and safe way to reach out for help, we have added a text line.

To use the text line individuals text ‘iowahelp’ to 20121. This text line is 24/7, 365 days a year with trained advocates to answer every text message. When individuals text in advocates will, depending on the individuals desires,[...]

Human Trafficking -- What is Your Role in Helping Victims & Survivors?

Human Trafficking -- What is Your Role in Helping Victims & Survivors?

According to the Walk Free Movement 45.8 million people are enslaved worldwide. Nearly 1 in 3 victims of slavery are children. Over half of victims of slavery are women and children.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 13,454 this year with 31 human trafficking cases being reported in Iowa.

The Advocates at the Iowa Domestic Violence & Victim Service Call Center are among the 8.3 million[...]

Resources Available to Survivors of Homicide

Resources Available to Survivors of Homicide

Families and friends of homicide victims experience a sudden traumatic, life changing loss. Homicide is not a normal, lifespan death or illness. It is a crime. Your loved one has been suddenly taken from you and now you must try to reorganize your life and go on.  

Coping with a violent death is always difficult. Iowa Homicide & Other Violent Crimes programs were developed with the mission to ensure[...]

What We Want Our Callers To Know

Since October 2015 we have received 4,862 incoming calls from victims. Not from one specific part of the state, not from one specific gender or ethnicity and not from one specific age group. Violence affects low and high income, all gender identities and ethnicities as well as the young and the old. Violence knows no boundaries. As advocates answering your phone call we want you to know the following things:


Expansion At The Helpline

Expansion At The Helpline

The end of May marks Iowa Domestic Violence Helpline’s 8th full month of being in operation! Since October of 2015, we have answered more than 8,000 incoming phone calls from across the state of Iowa.

Many of you may have noticed the addition of ‘& Crime Victim Call Center’ to our name and logo. We are excited to announce that we have expanded, allowing our advocates to serve even more crime[...]

National Crime Victims' Rights Week

National Crime Victims' Rights Week

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) promotes victims’ rights every April, honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf, with the recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).  This year’s theme – Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. – presents the opportunity to highlight the importance of providing needed services at the earliest stages of[...]

Prevention is Possible: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The countdown is on! Only six more days before Sexual Assault Awareness Month begins. What a great opportunity for us all to put our focus on such an important topic. Let’s all join together to recognize the strength and courage of sexual assault victims and survivors, partner with each other to make our resources stronger and focus energy in sexual assault prevention.

Let’s start with defining what sexual[...]

Celebrating NO MORE Week (March 6-12)

NO MORE Week is a national grassroots activation aimed at making domestic violence and sexual assault prevention a priority year - round. March 6th kicked off the 2016 NO MORE Week of Action and the Iowa Domestic Violence Helpline (IDVH) is proud to participate in the week long activities! 

Below are a few statistics from the National Domestic Violence Helpline (
  • On average, 24 people per minute[...]

February -- Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Do you have a teenager that is starting to explore the world of dating? If so, it is important for you to be aware and to educate them about teen dating violence. According to the National Health Information Center more than 1 in 10 teens, who have been on a date, have been physically abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend. 

According to an article posted by Northwest Community Healthcare, teen dating violence is[...]


Working for the Iowa Domestic Violence Helpline has been a very rewarding, inspiring, and eye-opening opportunity for me.   I can honestly say that I was blind to how prevalent domestic violence really is. 

The training to become a Helpline Advocate was intensive and prepared me for the day we started taking calls.  Something that I hold onto from my training is that being an advocate doesn’t stop[...]

Domestic Violence Doesn't Take A Break For Holidays

The holiday season is upon us and most of us are busy with traditions, family gatherings and the joy that holidays bring.  But for many, the holidays continue on as any other day; with an all-encompassing fear and feelings of isolation.  Domestic violence doesn’t take a break for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holidays.  It still persists for so many people. 

There’s a[...]