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Iowa AG: Domestic violence-related deaths reach highest level in 10 years


Domestic violence-related deaths in Iowa have reached their highest level in a decade, according to the Iowa attorney general’s office. In 2021, 20 people were killed as a result of domestic violence – 14 of them women, four men, and two bystanders. So far this year, three women have been killed in domestic violence-related cases. “The loss of 20 lives to domestic violence is tragic. Adding seven additional deaths to the report in just the final four months of 2021 spotlights the devastating effects that domestic violence has for victims and families across Iowa,” said Sandi Tibbetts Murphy, director of the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division.

Since 1995, 365 Iowans have been killed as a result of domestic violence. Tibbetts Murphy said the rising number of domestic violence deaths coincides with the decrease in federal funding for victim service programs. Last year, the division received $12.76 million in federal funds for victim assistance and compensation programs – a 20% decrease from the previous year’s award. Funding comes from the Crime Victims Fund, which solely consists of federal criminal fines, penalties and bond forfeitures, not taxpayer dollars, a release said. The division estimates that the continued decrease in funding could result in 23,500 fewer victims assisted this fiscal year.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, free resources are available. The Iowa Domestic Violence Helpline number is 800-770-1650. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 800-799-7233, or by texting “START” to 88788. More information about domestic violence is available at the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.

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