Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes depend on a number of services to find safety. Crisis assistance, housing and counseling, just to name a few, are imperative for women, men, children and communities in need. Crisis Intervention Service, an agency I am proud to be a part of, provides a variety of services to families in North Central Iowa. Agencies like ours who provide these services to victims benefit our state in many ways. As policymakers take a look at potential cuts to programs like ours in the next couple of weeks, services some of the most vulnerable members of our community are in jeopardy.
Beyond the obvious importance of providing assistance to survivors of trauma and abuse, helping individuals feel safe at home provides a foundation that enables other community partners to more effectively meet the needs of families. Investing in these services is also cost-effective because it reduces the need for those harmed by relationship violence to access other public benefits when victimization results in loss of jobs, housing or additional medical and health care needs.
Mary Ingham is the executive director of the Crisis Intervention Service, which serves victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in 15 counties in North Central Iowa and the Survivors of Homicide Program in 14 counties.
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