Victims of Domestic Violence

Honoree:  Rhoda Tenuta

Honoree Category:  Victims of Domestic Violence

Rhoda Tenuta, Victims of Domestic Violence Honoree
Bio – Rhoda Tenuta

Unrelenting criticism. Neglect. Withholding food or money. Control. Isolation. Brutal force. Sometimes death. The silent epidemic of domestic violence hides in fear and shame.

Rhoda Tenuta crusaded against domestic violence…an ordinary person doing extraordinary work so women and children could emancipate themselves. Tenuta’s efforts sought shelter and legal safeguards for victims and prosecution for abusers. Through civil law she worked to secure protection orders, housing, counseling, financial aid and sometimes divorce. She understood the need for coordinated community resources and campaigned to expedite hearings, advocating for family safety.

Trained as an attorney, she took her fight to the Iowa Court of Appeals guaranteeing the right to a timely hearing for victims seeking protection orders. Tenuta advised clients and stood by them in court, assuring them they were not alone.

Leading with comfort and encouragement, Tenuta mentored attorneys to champion the fight. Home should be a refuge, not a place to fear. Safety and freedom provide second chances.

Additional Honorees for Victims of Domestic Violence: Marilyn Murphy, Verlee Owens