50th Anniversary Reunion for Past & Present Staff

Join us for the Center's 50th Anniversary Reunion!

Join us on June 16 for a reunion of past and present
Center staff and training program participants!

June 16, 5:30pm-9:00pm
Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge
2500 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Come when you can and stay as long as you like! You are welcome to bring a guest. Formal remarks will begin at 6:30 pm. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. We hope you’ll bring stories and memories to share!

Contact Paige Franzluebbers | (515) 274-4006 | pfranzluebbers@mindspiritcenter.org


2022 Women Helping Women Sponsors

Thank you to our 2022 Women Helping Women
Sponsors and Leaders!

as of 5/23/22

Leadership Sponsor – $5,000

Kathy Fehrman

Polk County
Susan and Carl Voss

Sally Wallace


Supporting Sponsor – $2,500

Atlantic Bottling Co.
Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey

Carol Bodensteiner

Trudy Holman Hurd

Todd and Sue Mattison

Shirley Poertner

Rachel Stauffer and Jim Lawson

Marti Wade

Wittern Family Charitable Foundation

Sally Wood

Kathleen and Larry Zimpleman


Contributing Sponsor – $1,500

Apple Roofing

Dr. Barbara Beatty

Broadlawns Medical Center
Connectify HR

Foster Group, Inc.

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Iowa Radiology

LaDonna Matthes

D.J. Newlin

Prairie Meadows

Mary M. Riche

Silver Fox

Kim and Rich Willis

Connie Wimer

pecial Friend – $1,000
Meredith and J.R. Boesen
Suzie Glazer Burt
Nora and Dave Everett
Cindy and Tom Fischer
Ann Flood
Jann Freed and John Fisher
Barbara M. Gartner
Mary Gottschalk
Rachel Hardin
Leslie Heimbach
Starr and Harry Hinrichs
Ann and Tom Holme
Charlotte Hubbell
Andrea James
Martha G. James
Kate and Andy Juelfs
Linda Koehn
Virginia Lauridsen
Lisa Veach, M.D.
Nany Main
Claudette and P.J. McDonald
Brenda Mouw
Pauline and William Niebur
Barb and Andy Nish
Cynthia O’Brien
Jill Oman
Lynsey Oster
Allison and Timothy Peet
Rita Perea
Deb and Bob Pulver Foundation
Jackie Saunders
Rebecca D. Shaw, M.D.
Cameron Shepherd and Peter Sloterdyk
Kathy and Ted Stuart
Nanette D. Stubbs, in memory of Iola Tollakson
Toni Urban
Michele Whitty

Leader Plus – $500
Stephanie Asklof
Sandra Axness
Susan Ballard
Janet Betts
Annie Sloterdyk Brandt
Beth Coonan
Lynn Ekblad
Denise Essman
Marshall Flapan, in honor memory of Judy Flapan
Rosalie Gallagher
Onnalee Gettler
Kathleen and Calvin Hansen
Renee Hardman
Sarah Hayes
Denise J.A. Holck
Joanie Houston
Debbie Hubbell
Joanne Johnson
Anne Kelly
Mary Kramer
Jennie LeGates
Robbie G. Malm
Cyril Mandelbaum
Lorraine and Tom May
Reo Menning
Stephanie Pearl
Kay Riley
David Sagula
Patrice M. Sayre
Susan Moritz Scharnberg
Karen Shaff
Barb Sherman
Diana Sickles
Kendra Simmons
Laurie Betts Sloterdyk
Terri Mork Speirs, in honor of Sharon Goldford
Joan Stark
Barbara Stennes
Hallie Still-Caris
Char Vukovich
Teri Wahlig and Mark Feldmann
Linda Weidmaier
Deb Wiley and John Schmidt
Dr. Judy Winkelpleck

Leader – $250
Emily Abbas
Susan Ackelson
Becky Anthony
Beverly Apel
Barb Bachman
Janice Bannister
Mary Kay Bartine
Mary Ann Beard
Connie Beasley
Laura Belin
Jan Berlin
Beth Bishop
Connie Boesen
Nancy Bone
Margaret Platt Borgen
Nicole Boyington
Shelley Brody
Suzan Kelsey Brooks
Mary Kay Buchsbaum
Phyllis Cacciatore
Mary Carlsen, in honor of Rachel Hardin
Kevin Carroll
Marilyn Carroll
Aura Baquero Cassab
LaNae Ceryanec
Nancy Cheeseman
Alicia Claypool
Dawn Connet and Greg Nichols
Julie Ann Connolly
Whitney Cowman
Holly Craiger, in honor of Jacquie Easley McGhee
Suzanna de Baca
Judy and Larry Deutch, in honor of Sharon Goldford
Dr. Christine Dietz, in memory of Isabel Dietz and in honor of Sharon Goldford
Cris Douglass
Marsha and Ellery Duke
Michael Easley, in honor of Jacquie Easley McGhee
Victoria Eckstat
Kelly Edmister
Karen Engman
Rachel Eubank
Peggy Fisher
Fran Fleck
Allison and Jim Fleming
Julie Fleming
Jane Fogg
Kathy Giles
Shawna Gisi
Deborah Gitchell
Diane Glass
Linda Goeldner
Brooke Goldin, in honor of Rachel Hardin
Mary Helen Grace, in honor of Dixie Hoekman
Gina Graham
Bonnie Green
Nancy Green
Courtney Greene
Carrie Hall
Virginia Hancock
Cara Hardin
Jan Hardin
Lori and Larry Hartsook
Lynn Heggen
Barbara Hein
Jane Hemminger, in honor of Emily Kessinger, Mary Riche and Kathy Stuart
Rev. Martha E. Hill
Kathleen Hoegh
Dixie Hoekman
Beverly Hutney
Stacy Jannenga
Beth Stelle Jones
Maureen Keehnle
Lola Kenworthy
Pamela Kenyon
Connie Klug
Christine Lewis
Sheila Starkovich Lingwall
Deb Madison-Levi
Kate Massop
Sandy McClelland
Dr. Andy McGuire
Cathy McMullen
Ann Michelson
Middleton Family
Robyn Mills
Diane Morain
Cheryl Morton
Maura Nelson
Liz Neumann
Charlotte Noble
Jeanne O’Halloran
Noreen O’Shea and Thomas Benzoni
Leigh O’Tool
Jo Oldson
Katie Gibson Overby
Patricia Socarras Pack, in memory of Maria A. Socarras
Laura Palmer
Mary Jean Paschen
Katie Patton
Donna L. Paulsen
Gail Pearl
Sally Pederson
Sen. Janet Petersen
Diann M. Peyton
Sarah Pritchard
Linda Railsback, MD
Olivia Rasmussen
Dr. Stacy Ray
Susy Robinette
Janet Rosenbury
Barbara Royal and Diedre Fudge
Katherine Safris
Laura Sands
Katy and Kylon Schmitt
Pam Schoffner
Eliza Ovrom
Judy Shkolnick
Marti Sivi, in honor of Sharon Goldford
Rachel Sivi
Kelly Sparks
Kathleen Stahl
Randi Stern
Ellen Strachota
Erin Strawn
Mary Stuart
Gail Stubbs
Sarah Sullivan
Sarah Susanin
Karen Novak Swalwell
Cheryl Sypal
Joyce and Harold Templeman
Marsha Ternus
Elizabeth Trausch
Karen Unrau
Teresa VanVleet-Danos
Ann Victor
Susan Vujnovich
Kjersten Walker
Marilyn Warling
Malinda Wiesner
Dee Willemsen
Jean M. Williams
Emily Williams-Bouska
Janie Wine
Barb B. Yankey
Roberta Yoder

Young Leader – $125
Julianne Bartlett
Meghan Blum
Rachel Bruns
Jessica Cezar
Molly Driscoll
Carolyn Fischer
Paige Franzluebbers
Kathryn Greenfield
Kaitie Hartmann
Christine Hilbert
Sara Hopkins
Emily Kessinger
Jenna Knox
Colleen MacRae
Ali Makris
Maggie McClelland
Kathleen McGuire
Kate Mead
Dani Musselman
Shannon and Laney Reider
Anne Roth
Shannon Schott, in honor of Jan Keese
Erica Shannon Stueve
Ann-Charlotte Wade
Emily Webb

Corporate Friends – $500+
Kemin Industries, Inc.

Table Host
Ebony and Ivory Book Club, hosted by Carol Bodensteiner and Teree Caldwell-Johnson
Sharon Goldford
Mary Gottschalk
The Graham Group, Inc.
Junior League of Des Moines
L.U.N.A. (Latinas United for a New Dawn), hosted by Sharon Goldford
Claudette McDonald and Ellen Nelson
Monika Owczarski
Katie Roth
Temple B’Nai Jeshurun

Connie Wilson Design

Media Sponsor
Business Publications Corporation
Business Publications Corporation

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Back to Women Helping Women homepage: www.dmpcc.org/WHW


Women Helping Women – Domestic Abuse

Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center presents the 22nd Annual Women Helping Women event on Friday, May 15, 2020, 11:30 a.m. (Facebook event here.) For the safety of the community, in consideration of coronavirus (COVID-19), the event will be held online. Our “virtual” gathering recognizes the need for continued support for uninsured and underinsured women and children. Domestic abuse, the theme of this year’s initiative, brings to our attention a plight suffered by countless women, children, men, elders, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals.

Mary Riche, this year’s Honoree, points out “This year’s luncheon is even more important to the Center’s ongoing fundraising efforts because of the coronavirus pandemic. Participating in a virtual luncheon will make the 2020 WHW unforgettable!” For updates and information about accessing the event, please visit www.dmpcc.org/whw. The website is updated as new details become available.

Mary said, “Asking for help and naming a problem is a necessary, often emotionally painful first step to transformational change.” She emphasizes, “This is especially important for victims of abuse, because it takes immense personal courage for victims to reach out and begin the process of counseling.” She stated, “Jackie Servellon’s personal story of hope and healing as a survivor of domestic violence draws attention to this problem that may worsen since life, as we know it, has been halted and altered.”

Keynote Speaker Jackie Servellon, owner of Balloon Bar DSM, shares her experience of violent domestic abuse from parents with drug abuse and mental health problems. She said sharing her story, though “sad and shocking,” contributes to her healing. “Mental health is infinitely as important as personal safety,” she said, pointing out, “Conversation stops at [victim] safety.” She went on to say, “Mental health does not heal itself, and low-income women don’t have access to care and other resources.”

Domestic abuse hits close to home for me. I grew up in an era in which American culture recognized “wife beating,” and deemed it a family matter. No one considered emotional abuse, or the damage done to the victims’ mental health. I did not realize for many years that what I experienced in my childhood, adolescence, and adult life was, in fact, abuse. My experiences were emotionally painful, but I thought they were my fault which I have learned is common among victims. As an adult, I adhered to the belief that I could not have been abused because my experiences were not physical. My therapist here at the Center gently helps me discover and claim my strengths, my accomplishments, and my humanity, as he stresses self-compassion, and self-acceptance. He supports, encourages, and helps me celebrate my progress no matter how small. Recognizing and assigning the abusers’ responsibility was a huge step for me. I take ownership of my part in the relationship, but only mine. Today, I am confronting the memories and working to heal from them. The survival skills I developed as a child continue to inform my personality—thoughts, beliefs, decisions, behaviors. I grieve the loss of what I needed in the relationships but could not get from others as well as the loss in the termination of relationships with people I had cared about.

Sadly, not much has changed since those early days. When someone describes her or his experience with emotional, psychological, financial, deprivation, isolation, withholding affection, others often dismiss their story as trivial because they do not see injury and scars. Indeed, all domestic abuse results in invisible scars that may affect the victim for the rest of her or his life.

Domestic abuse is active and prevalent in 2020, yet we hear little about it. We become aware only when sensational or high-profile situations make the headlines, or someone publishes a best-selling book—fiction or nonfiction. Then the issue retreats into the periphery of our collective consciousness. Domestic abuse, no respecter of race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, or disability, is ever-present in the lives of victims. Emotionally stable and strong individuals find themselves battling feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.

Often, people think of domestic abuse only in the context of domestic violence. Domestic abuse and domestic violence are interchangeable terms in that both are used to convey the same types of behaviors. Domestic abuse exists in myriad variations of the following forms:

  1. Physical, which includes barring the victim from medical care or forcing victim to use drugs or alcohol.
  2. Sexual, which includes coercion or attempts to coerce in addition to violent attacks and exploitation.
  3. Emotional, which includes decimating the victim’s sense of self and impairing victim’s relationships with family, friends, and others.
  4. Economic, which includes controlling or attempting to control financial activities, withholding financial support, and removing money from victim’s accounts against the victim’s will or without the victim’s permission.
  5. Psychological, which includes intimidation, threats of harm to victim or people or situations important to the victim— the victim’s employment, children, pets, other family members, close friends, etc.—and isolation from family, friends, and support system.

The current protective measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) place victims in their homes with their abusers for prolonged periods. Loss of income, the effects of quarantine, and the stress around the pandemic add tension to already volatile households. Around the world, advocates report distressing rises in reported domestic abuse cases. Victims have fewer places to go as employees of safe places are now also in quarantine leaving agencies with limited or nonexistent staff onsite. The result is locked-out buildings, long hold times for calls, and fewer staff to investigate. Law enforcement report similar problems.

Apart from the shame the abusers heap on victims, the victims experience shame for a host of reasons: 1) they failed ability to please the abuser; 2) bewilderment for getting into the situation; 3) they believe they have let themselves and their family down. Family members, friends, law enforcement and social services workers may underestimate the abuser’s power over the victim. As a result, they may further injure the victim’s fragile self-worth by ridiculing and blaming the victim for the circumstances in which they find themselves and downplay the victim’s precarious circumstances and mental and emotional states.

Abusers are cunning, intuitive, manipulative, and patient—until the victim is hooked. They know what their prey wants to hear and how to shame or intimidate her or him into doing what they want. They know how to threaten what is important to the person. Abusers either instill feelings of low self-worth in the victim or reinforce beliefs already in place. For these reasons, extrication from relationships can be extremely difficult and often dangerous. While abusers may have deep-seated insecurities and fears as well as their own history of abuse, they are responsible for addressing their needs rather than projecting them onto others. However, abusers often crave the intoxicating feelings of power, control, and domination over others. When they feel threatened or self-doubt, they resort to familiar means to relieve their stress.

We all can help in the effort to eradicate domestic abuse. 1) Question the appearance of new injuries; 2) Pay attention to signs of changes in the person’s mental health state; 3) Be aware of changes in someone’s behavior, communication, or questionable fixation on a partner, particularly if the relationship is new or recently altered, e.g. the partner is recently released from incarceration, home from a prolonged absence, newly divorced, married, etc.; 4) Believe the victim is telling the truth; 5) Learn about resources and safety measures that minimize further harm.; 5) Enlist assistance to remove the abuser from the home.

If you or someone you know is at risk or affected by domestic abuse, the resources listed below are available.

  • The Center plays a vital role in the hope and healing for people suffering the effects of domestic abuse. Mary Riche affirmed, “The counselors at DMPCC are skilled practitioners with wisdom and expertise to walk alongside all clients in a safe, non-judgmental environment. For information and to schedule an appointment, visit dmpcc.org, call 515-274-4006 or email info@mindspiritcenter.org.

Jackie Servillon said, “DMPCC’s funding is how we support the community and save lives. We bury communities by limiting access to mental health care.”

  • Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence 4725 Merle Hay Rd Suite 107, Des Moines, IA 50322 (515) 244-8028  https://www.icadv.org
  • Children & Families of Iowa 1111 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314
    (515) 288-1981 https://cfiowa.org
  • Your community’s emergency services Call 911



  • Signs of domestic violence or abuse


  • Differentiating Between Domestic Violence and Abuse


  • 5 Types of Abuse, Domestic Violence FAQ


  • In quarantine with an abuser: surge in domestic violence reports linked to coronavirus


  • Safety Tips


  • 9 Ways to Help a Victim of Domestic Violence


Billie Wade, writer

For more of Billie’s blog posts – CLICK HERE