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January Newsletter: January 10 marks first day of Iowa's legislative session

The Iowa Capitol building on a sunny day.

January 10 marks first day of Iowa's legislative session

IowaCASA will be back at the Capitol on January 10 as elected officials convene for the legislative session.

We will ask Iowa legislators to invest in at least $10 million in state funds for victim services to help support all crime victims. Currently, Iowa invests just $5 million in state funds, which is limited to sexual assault and domestic violence services. Our request will include amending the state budget so funds can also support victims of homicide and other violent crimes. We believe increased fund will help address significant unmet needs and reduce potential disparities when accessing services.

As we move into another year of the pandemic, IowaCASA will support legislation that provides all Iowans with the right to paid medical leave, paid sick leave, paid parental leave, and affordable childcare. We will also push back against legislation that creates barriers for survivors. Have more questions? Email us at

Save the date for Advocacy Day at the Capitol!

We hope you'll join IowaCASA, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change for our annual Advocacy Day at the Capitol. This is your chance to advocate for issues that directly impact victims and survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, homicide, and other violent crimes.

This year's Advocacy Day will take place on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. More information and additional details will be released in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!


KellyMarie's Book Corner

KellyMarie Z. Meek, Coordinator of Prevention & Public Health Initiatives, with a copy of DeRay Mckesson's book.

This month's pick: On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope

“Hope is the belief that our tomorrows can be better than our todays. Hope is not magic; hope is work. I am not certain that a new world, one of equity and justice, will emerge, but I am certain that it can emerge,” writes DeRay Mckesson in On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. These essays combine memoir, data analysis, historical document, and persuasive argument into an intensely compelling collection that serves as both a love letter to activists and a challenge for all of us to engage in the work of dreaming and building the future we want to live in. As a long-time fan of dystopian fiction, I’ve been consciously trying to move toward things that help me to believe that maybe the future is actually going to be better than the present, and this book was just what I needed to start off the year.

If you’re interested in reading this book, we’ve got 20 copies in our free IowaCASA community lending library, so not only can you borrow it for yourself, but you can even check out a set of up to 10 copies to read with your book club, your students, your friends, your colleagues, or anyone you like reading and talking about books with! For more information on how to use our lending library, and to see all of the other amazing titles we’ve got for you, please click here for more information.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

Remember that iconic scene in 1989's Say Anything where John Cusack stands outside Diane's bedroom window playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" on a boombox? Welp... turns out that's totally stalking behavior. And since January is National Stalking Awareness Month, we thought it was a good time to revisit some of our favorite movies and ask the question - is this creepy?

In many films - Sleepless in Seattle, Love Actually, The Notebook, and the original Ghostbusters - chasing after an unrequited love is portrayed as romantic and charming, and eventually leads to everyone living "happily ever after." Yet more than 6 million people in the US are stalked every year and it's anything but romantic. Stalking is real, friends, and we need to take it seriously.

For resources or more information, visit If you or someone you know needs help, contact the Iowa Victim Service Call Center at 1-800-770-1650 or text "IOWAHELP" to 20121.

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Human trafficking is defined as the buying, selling, and/or transportation of a person for the purpose of exploiting them for sex or forced labor. It's estimated that as many as 24.9 million people - adults and children alike - are trafficked around the world. And it doesn't just happen in big cities or states, either. We even see human trafficking right here in Iowa.

Click here for a list of human trafficking resources from our friends at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center - and what you can do to help.


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