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Iowa domestic violence providers brace for deep funding cuts

The reality of big cuts to victim services in Iowa is sinking in for agencies that support those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault — with directors scrambling to save jobs and leave intact direct services by, in some cases, closing offices and cutting other corners.

Although the state’s service providers don’t yet know specifically how much they’ll be forced to trim, many are measuring the total percentage cuts against their budgets and doing the math.

“All in, we’re probably talking as much as $100,000,” said Kristie Fortmann-Doser, executive director of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program based in Iowa City. “It means that we are closing many of our offices.”

Program officials are planning to shutter three of the agency’s five offices, leaving open its Iowa City location and some free space in Burlington while closing offices in Mount Pleasant, Keokuk and Burlington. The agency and its mobile staffers will continue serving clients throughout its eight-county region, but the job will be more challenging, as cuts could mean fewer resources for victims seeking shelter, supplies for those tossed into unforeseen emergencies and social support for victims in the midst of traumatic domestic situations.

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