Domestic violence advocates say number of victims is staggering - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Advocates say number of domestic violence victims is staggering, even on Valentine's day

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

While Valentine's Day is a romantic holiday for many couples, it can be quite the opposite for those in unhealthy relationships.

Domestic violence and sexual assault advocates warn it's not a happy occasion for those who are stuck in abusive relationships.

On average, most domestic violence research shows no significant correlation between holidays and reports of domestic violence and sexual assault instances.

According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a the majority of family violence crimes happen at night, on weekends, during the summer and in one's home.

Alicia Smiley is an advocate at Seeds of Hope in Waterloo. The nonprofit provides free and confidential services for victims of domestic abuse.

"Intimate partner violence happens everyday. It doesn't matter what holiday it is. It happens everyday and it's a large problem in our community," said Smiley.

Executive Director at Seeds of Hope Terry Helinski said the agency helps more people every year.

Helinski said she's currently in the process of applying for funding from the Attorney General, as the federal government proposes steep cuts in victim services.

Smiley and Helinski recommend folks call the Seeds of Hope hotline if they need help in a domestic violence situation.

Seeds of Hope can be reached at 1-888-746-4673 or 319-272-1400.

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