DVIP reports sharp rise in calls since pandemic began


Officials with the Domestic Violence Intervention Program in Iowa City say that the coronavirus pandemic has left more people at home and potentially in a more dangerous situation if they’re living with an abuser.

KCRG TV reports that the Program expected calls to slow down once things started to reopen, but that hasn’t been the case. They say calls are up 28 percent compared to when the pandemic first began.

Last year, DVIP served about 1900 people, and staff say they’re just short of that number with five months left to go in 2020.

Alta Medea-Peters, Director of Community Engagement for DVIP, says it’s possible that people living in an abusive situation were better able to reach out to them once the weather warmed up and people started to return to work.

The group says their top donation needs include baby formula, diapers, sugar, cooking oil, gift cards and microwave popcorn. Medea-Peters tells the station that they are hoping to increase staff to meet demand.