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MASON CITY, Iowa – Domestic violence is an issue that many face around the country but one area group is looking to share support.
It’s an event in mason city to remember those we’ve lost as a result of domestic violence and abuse over the past year.
With more than five million cases of abuse reported around the country each year, friends and family along with supporters say it’s events like these that help them through with their loss.
“A lot of people don’t understand that they are in an abusive relationship from their standpoint but with us, we seen it,” said Courtney Reibsamen.
For Courtney Reibsamen, the loss of her sister Sabrina was more shocking than she could ever have imagined.
In August of 2012, Sabrina was hit and killed by a car driven by her former boyfriend.
he was never charged in her death but instead was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
“I think she believed that she loved him so much that she thought he wasn’t going to hurt her, but I don’t know,” said Reibsamen.
Each name read at this event has a unique story, but with domestic violence affecting 1 in every 4 women and 1 and every 7 men, chances are you or a loved one have been or will be affected.
today’s event in Mason City pays tribute to those people.
“It’s to honor the memory of the women, men and children that have been murdered as a result of domestic violence in Iowa,” said Mary Ingham, Director of Crisis Intervention.
Janet Bottleman of Manly lost her daughter, Brigett Bottleman back in 2010 to sexual abuse and says she continues to attend in hopes of showing support for others like her facing the grief of losing someone special.
“Domestic violence is nothing you even think is gonna happen to people who you love and know and care about every day. We just want to keep the awareness out there so that this doesn’t happen to other people,” said Bottleman.
while the statistics nationwide far outweigh the stats we see in the north iowa area, officials say it’s still a concern.
Several officers along with area lawmakers were at the event and they say they take the issue of domestic violence very seriously.
Since 2010, on average more than 500 people receive some sort of assistance from domestic violence programs in Iowa.
Officers say they want others to know they’re here for support.
“These calls we deal with often. There is violence involved with these calls. It’s very devastating to the people involved number one. It’s also devastating to the people who are witnesses such as the children that witness the violence,” said Chief Deputy Dave Hepperly with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Hepperly says he plans on continuing the collaboration with those in crisis intervention and hopes it’s events like these that will give victims more confidence to contact authorities.
For more resources on domestic abuse and violence click on the links below:
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault: http://www.icadv.org/
Crisis Intervention Services: http://www.cishelps.org/