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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

IA Looks to Shelter Victims, Survivors of Sexual Assault

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Monday, May 1, 2023   

Iowa groups have spent the past month focused on finding shelter and support for victims of sexual assault, to help them stay anonymous and safe. The efforts won't stop, even as Sexual Assault Awareness Month ends.

There is no 'good' news in a story like this, but for Iowa, there is a silver lining. At four sexual assaults per 100,000 population, the state ranks last in the nation for these crimes.

For perspective, that number is 148 in Alaska. Neighboring Missouri and Kansas report closer to 50, according to the World Population Review.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate - whose office oversees programs to prevent sexual assault - said while the numbers are low, they are headed in the wrong direction.

"This type of issue is not reserved for the bigger counties or bigger city areas," said Pate. "This is, unfortunately, an equal opportunity problem. And we have seen statistics along those lines that have been very, very disturbing."

Pate said people don't always report these types of assaults for fear of being stigmatized or re-victimized, making exact numbers hard to track.

So, the state is finding ways to help survivors stay anonymous to create safety, and encourage more reporting.

In order to register to vote in Iowa, people have to give their address. Pate said if someone is hesitant to do that - because they're afraid of being sexually harassed, assaulted or stalked - the state offers what's known as a "Safe at Home" program.

"We provide them with an address confidentiality program, so that they can protect where they live at," said Pate. "We give them an alternative address they can use to receive all their mail, of course, to be able to use as their voter registration point. That's where we've seen a real impact."

Pate says 1,200 people from three-quarters of Iowa's counties are enrolled in the Safe at Home program, and the number participating has been on the rise since the program's inception.




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