Posted by: joshjasper | January 8, 2009

A call to action

As you may know, Riverview Center is a rape crisis center that serves victims of sexual assault in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  More specifically, we provide services to citizens of Dubuque, Delaware, and Buchanan Counties in Iowa.  A press conference was held yesterday in Des Moines to advocate for the funding needed to not only allow Riverview Center to continue providing services but all rape crisis centers and domestic violence centers throughout the state of Iowa to remain open.

You see, in the attempt to balance the budget for the state of Iowa, agencies like ours are historically the first to be impacted.  As it stands right now, 4 million dollars has been removed from the budget that should be earmarked for agencies that serve victims of rape and domestic assault.  If the 4 million is not restored, it is a certainty that some agencies in Iowa will close.  Again, imagine a domestic violence shelter that serves a handful of counties in Iowa and provides shelter for hundreds of women and children each year closes their doors for good due to money.

What is the message that is sent to women, children, and men in our communities that are victims of these types of crimes when the very first attempt to balance a state budget comes on the back of the very agencies that are tasked with helping piece back together their lives.  The message that is sent is similar to that of what Robert Jensen states in his book “Getting Off, Pornography and the End of Masculinity” (GREAT book by the way).  He states “We live in a world that hates women and children.”  This is a harsh statement to say the least and he goes on to say how when  he shares this opinion, it is often met with significant resistance.  His point is not that all men hate women and children but “no society would let happen what happens to women and children in this culture if at some level it did not have contempt for them.  We allow women and children to be raped at a rate that can lead to no other conclusion except that we place a lesser value on their lives.”

To reiterate his point, I strongly believe that many of us do not have this contempt toward women and children but those same people MUST do more to end this violence.

Please contact your local legislator via e-mail, phone, or letter and ask them to reinstate these life saving funds.  You can find your legislator at:

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/Legislators/LegislatorInfo.aspx

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