Domestic Violence is an ugly reality for many Iowans. In 2010, roughly 24,000 domestic abuse victims were served in Iowa, according to statistics released by the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Fortunately, there are people and programs statewide that provide resources for victims of these heinous crimes.
Hannah Worrell, a senior studying English (Creative Writing Track) at Iowa, along with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, work with one of these programs: the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) in Iowa City.
DVIP provides support for victims of domestic violence living in Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Van Buren and Washington Counties.
Worrell is this week’s campus celebrity for her philanthropic work with victims of domestic violence.
Worrell said that Alpha Chi Omega’s national philanthropy is associated with Domestic Violence Awareness, so Iowa’s chapter puts on two philanthropic events each year to raise money (and awareness) for victims of domestic violence in the community. All of the proceeds from these events benefit the DVIP.
“My love for this cause and this organization grows all the time; I don’t think I will ever stop being passionate about women’s issues and rights,” said Worrell. “Being involved with DVIP — even just raising awareness — has opened my eyes to so many aspects of the fight for women’s rights that I hadn’t necessarily recognized before.”
Each year, Alpha Chi Omega sponsors a campaign on the T. Anne Cleary walkway called, “These Hands Don’t Hurt,” which asks passerby to pledge their support to end domestic violence by painting their hands purple (the color of Domestic Violence Awareness) and stamping them onto a big white sheet.
“It’s so cool to see by the end how many purple hands are all over the white sheet!” Worrell said. “It’s an incredibly inspiring thing to see people you don’t even know fighting for people you’ve never met.”
Worrell said that she doesn’t think many people know about the DVIP in Iowa City, despite it being a tremendously important resource for the community.
Additionally, Worrell mentioned that to be a volunteer at the DVIP, one must go through “appropriate background checks and in-depth training courses.”
Worrell understands this well, as she trained to be a volunteer for the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) this semester and is looking forward to volunteering next semester.
Worrell has a passion for philanthropy and education and is thinking about working for international women’s and children’s education rights after she graduates.
Citing the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, which states that every child has the right to an education, Worrell relayed the problems preventing this tenet from becoming truth.
“Unfortunately [the right to an education] is not the reality for far too many children, and one of the biggest barriers to education equity is gender, as well as lack of resources, ableism, unstable governments and lack of transportation,” Worrell said. “This is something that I feel very strongly about and would like to raise awareness about, as well as work to eradicate in the future.”
Her Campus U-Iowa wishes Worrell well in her work to help individuals in the community and beyond in need of guidance, shelter and support. Be it domestic violence or education inequity, Worrell is doing her part to bring an end to the social injustices that plague our world.
Interested in lending a helping hand to DVIP? Click here to do your part, and get involved by donating or becoming a volunteer.
Photo Credit: Hannah Worrell’s Facebook photos and Alpha Chi Omega’s Twitter feed