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Día de los Muertos event honors Iowans lost to domestic violence

In the last year, 11 Iowans were killed in domestic violence incidents.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) honored the lives lost to domestic violence Saturday with a Día de los Muertos event.

Behind the dancing, face painting and free food, there was a deeper purpose—a warning about the dangers of domestic violence.

"We really wanted to elevate and highlight the voices of survivors who oftentimes are overlooked or overshadowed. So that includes a lot of victims with marginalized identities," said Veronica Guevarra, director of equity & inclusion for ICADV.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, one in four women and one in nine men in the state have experienced domestic violence.

"Domestic violence is a pandemic-level problem," said ICADV executive director Maria Corona.

In the last year, 11 Iowans were killed in domestic violence incidents. The faces and stories of several victims were placed on an altar at the tribute.

"The tradition that we're focusing on today is the Mexican tradition and customs, where they have an altar style of honoring and remembering with pictures of those that we've lost," Corona.

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Corona said anyone can help in the fight against domestic violence by having conversations about it and making sure that all family members know what a good relationship looks like.

"Start modeling healthy relationships in the home with your significant other, but also with your children," Corona said.

She also suggested reaching out to elected officials and letting them know that you support funding for services for victims of domestic violence. If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, you can receive confidential support through ICADV here.

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