Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tiffany's law

"I have made it my mission to fight for tougher legislation in order to affect positive change in the criminal justice system because no other individual should experience what I went through, both as a victim of crime and of the current criminal justice system." — Tiffany Allison, survivor

AS SOME of you know, several years ago I created a charitable non-profit called Helen's Pajama Party. Through it I collect new pajamas and provide them to Iowa's domestic violence shelters. Sad to say, but it takes about 3500 pairs a year; that's how many women enter shelter protective shelter each year at the 13 regional shelters in Iowa — not even counting the children.

This coming Monday night, January 26, we'll be having a packing and sorting party at Great Southern Bank in Ankeny where we'll pack up a three-month supply.

I'm also using this event to highlight and promote an important bill currently in the Iowa Legislature, and Tiffany Allison, the bill's main author, will be speaking briefly.

Rather than retell Tiffany's story — it's so horrific and tragic that I had a difficult time writing about it once — I've attached the press release. All three of our local newscasts channels will be covering it barring breaking news. 

I hope you'll take a moment to read it.

Lots of Hey Look readers are from out of state and out of country, but for those of you who live in Iowa, you can make a difference by writing and calling your state senator and representative to urge passage of this bill.

And as an FYI: if you're a member of a civic or social group, Tiffany and I will come and speak to your organization anytime, anywhere.

January 21, 2015 

Every year in Iowa more than 3,500 victims of domestic violence are forced to run for their lives and seek protection at domestic violence shelters. 

Helen’s Pajama Party packing event with special appearances by Tiffany Allison and Senator Matt McCoy

Monday, January 26 at 6:30; speakers at 7:15 

Great Southern Bank 

210 Northeast Delaware Avenue, Ankeny, IA

Pack 870 pairs of new pajamas (unfortunately, only a three-month supply for Iowa domestic violence shelters) and spotlight a bill in the legislature that would require serial violent offenders to complete more of their sentences

Helen’s Pajama Party
Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance

Omega Nu chapter of Phi Tau Omega

Kelly Sargent

In 2009 Tiffany Allison was a victim of domestic assault. The front page story in the newspaper described it using words such as felony assault, false Imprisonment, beaten with hands, knees, feet and a wrought iron cross, numerous bite marks on her body, beaten to unconsciousness, urinated on. 

Tiffany was her abuser’s fifth victim. Yet when convicted of his crimes against Tiffany, her abuser was given only a 2½-year sentence and served just 10 months before being released. 

Within two years after her abuser’s release, he again violently re-offended.

This time he permanently disfigured his victim’s face. Although sentenced to 15 years for this, his sixth offense offense, he will most likely be released after serving only  to three years. 

As a result, Tiffany has become a victim advocate and a proponent of tougher legislation on violent crimes, working with Senator Matt McCoy and Representive Chip Baltimore to propose a bill (Senate File 23) to help protect Iowans from the most dangerous repeat offenders by making sure they complete more of their sentences.

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