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Press Release

United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

Des Moines, IA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal joins the Department of Justice, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), advocates, survivors, victim service providers, justice professionals, police and first responders, and communities across the United States in observing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For too many victims, domestic violence impacts their life every day. The devastating consequences of domestic violence are widespread and affects the victims as well as the victims’ family and friends, and can cross generations and last a lifetime. Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes. These rates are disproportionately higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, women of Color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and two-spirit people, and people with disabilities. Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides an opportunity to spread awareness about domestic violence and encourage everyone to play a role in ending gender-based violence.

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month reminds us of the human impact of domestic violence and our role along with the dedicated victim advocates, service providers, police and first responders in ensuring that victims and survivors have a path to safety, access to services, and a voice in justice,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Westphal. “Domestic violence happens in our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our communities and a top priority of our office will continue to be assisting victims, prosecuting offenders, and supporting our community’s awareness of available resources.”

Targeting gun violence is a key part of combatting domestic violence and reducing violent crime. Domestic violence abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their partners, and in addition to their lethality, firearms are used by abusers to inflict fear, intimidation, and coercive control. Under federal law, people convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or are subject to a protective order are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. This crime is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE), or the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-770-1650. Additional resources for victims and survivors of domestic violence can be found on the Resources page of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer

Updated October 20, 2022

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