SIOUX CITY JOURNAL REPORTS ON SIOUXLAND MEN'S
Sioux City, IA, June 20, 2006– Members
of the Siouxland Men's Coalition spoke out about
domestic violence, a topic that has long been
considered a "women's issue," and announced
a campaign to end violence Thursday at City Hall.
The Siouxland Men's Coalition in partnership
with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention,
launched the four-year, research-based public
education violence prevention campaign in Sioux
City this week in conjunction with Father's Day.
The campaign will include print, radio, TV and
billboard advertising, as well as public events
and community mobilizing. The purpose of the
campaign is to increase the number of adults
in Sioux City who are talking to their children
about domestic violence.
"We're really excited about it," Cindy
Waitt, president of the Waitt Institute for Violence
Prevention, said. "Our hope is that we increase
the number of adults that talk to kids. Today
we're focusing on fathers and sons because it's
Father's Day, but there's a component that will
really apply to all youth, girls as well."
Research conducted by the Waitt Institute over
the past few years indicates that nearly half
of the people in Siouxland have been touched
by domestic violence.
A number of community leaders spoke on behalf
of the Siouxland Men's Coalition.
"Violence is a huge issue within our culture," Bob
Sheehan, president of the Boys and Girls Home
and Family Services, said. "There are some
studies that would say it would be a pandemic
if we measured it as we measure disease in this
The Sioux City Police Department reports there
were 586 reported incidents of domestic violence
last year. There have been 261 reported incidents
of domestic violence so far this year.
Violence doesn't necessarily have to happen
to someone directly in order for them to be affected
"It can be observed. It can be heard," Sheehan
said. "It can affect us in many ways and
it does affect many children."
Several Sanford Center employees and volunteers
attended the press conference Thursday to take
a stand against domestic violence.
George Boykin, director of the Sanford Center,
said the men standing behind him impact the lives
of 2,500 families. They work with young boys
and fathers on a daily basis trying to resolve
issues of violence.
"They're having a very, very important
impact on this community," he said. "There
have been no other programs like this anywhere
in Sioux City or the state of Iowa where we would
have such an impact in delivering this kind of
services and eliminating violence in families
and helping bring those families back together
in a traditional way that should exist in our
community and across this country."
Steve Hansen, a former state senator and director
of the Sioux City Public Museum, pointed to recent
incidents in Le Mars and Anthon, Iowa, to illustrate
the presence of domestic violence in the area.
"Frankly I'm not surprised," he said. "Everyday
there are dramas that are carried out that just
aren't taken to that last step when someone is
killed. Whenever I hear one of those stories,
it always takes a little piece of my heart, but
I don't ask, 'Why does it happen?' What I ask
myself is, 'When is it going to end and how are
we going to end it?'
"That's what this group is about."
Dolly Butz may be contacted at (712) 293-4275
Article reprinted from the Sioux City Journal