From June 14th to 17th, we hosted “Institutional Response to Domestic Violence: A Project for Kosovo” in eastern Iowa. Five representatives from the Republic of Kosovo visited to understand gender-based violence and the community’s victim support practices in terms of law enforcement, university policy, and minority populations.
On June 14th, the delegation arrived at their hotel in the afternoon and had the rest of the evening free.
The next morning, volunteer Amanda Potterfield accompanied the delegation to the Iowa City Police Department and met with Victim Services Coordinator Ann Thompson. They discussed the role the Iowa City Police Department plays in responding to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and Ann’s position in working closely with law enforcement and the department’s mental health liaison in following up with victims of all crimes.
After they met with Ann Thompson, the delegation traveled with volunteer Steve Merkel-Hess to North Hall. They had the opportunity to meet with Associate Professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work Carolyn Copps Hartley, Ph.D., MSW, and learned about the research the School of Social Work has done on domestic violence and how they are using it to shape education addressing domestic violence. Additionally, they explored Hartley’s research on improving criminal and civil legal responses to intimate partner violence and the adjudication process for campus sexual misconduct.
Following the meeting, the delegation was driven to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.
They met with Delaney Dixon and Volunteer Coordinator of The Domestic Violence Intervention Program Allison Tippy where they had the opportunity to visit the house, serve as volunteers, and hear from the organization representatives about the support and advocacy services for domestic violence victims in southeast Iowa.
The rest of their evening was free for them to explore Iowa City at their leisure.
The next day, accompanied by Program Intern Anna Peach, the delegation started their early morning in a conference room of their hotel lobby with Iowa Sixth Judicial District’s Iowa Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP). They met with Community Treatment Coordinator Joey Matousek in-person and Male Intake Coordinator Cleo Hester online to discuss proper intervention and facilitation programs.
In the same meeting room, accompanied by volunteer Jane McMullen, they met with Iowa Legal Aid. With Staff Attorney and President of the Johnson County Bar Association Daphney Daniel, they talked about the issues around fair housing.
After their meetings, they had some free time for lunch.
For their final meeting, volunteer Marianne Weiss met the delegation for their meeting with West Liberty Index at WeLead, West Liberty. Together, they met with editor Xiomara Levsen who shared her experience and perspective on the journalistic reporting of domestic violence.
For the rest of their evening, the delegation had the opportunity to explore the Juneteenth Celebration at the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Iowa City Police Department, University of Iowa School of Social Work, Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Iowa Sixth Judicial District’s Iowa Domestic Abuse Program, Iowa Legal Aid, and West Liberty Index for acting as our professional resource in this program! Also, special thanks to Amanda Potterfield, Steve Merkel-Hess, Anna Peach, Jane McMullen, and Marianne Weiss for volunteering their time to be with this delegation!