Be aware of domestic violence this month

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We invite readers to take a stand against domestic violence. October has been designated National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We at the Crime Victims Crisis Center encourage readers to learn more about how to end violence against women and children.

Domestic violence is a problem that is too often kept quiet, or ends with devastating results. The human cost is staggering. This year, 12 women, two children and four adults lost their lives in domestic-violence-related homicides, according to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. In 2009, we provided shelter and domestic violence services to 257 consumers and provided education to 39 men through the Domestic Abuse Program.

Our community’s response is critical both for victim safety and perpetrator accountability. Women and their children must be provided protection and given the support necessary to improve their circumstances. Perpetrators must be held accountable for their violence and be given appropriate penalties that require changes in their behavior.

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Ending domestic violence takes neighbors, business owners and faith communities willing to get involved and to provide a circle of support. It takes families, friends, neighbors and co-workers saying, “We will do what it takes to stop the cycle of violence and abuse.” Please join our efforts to stop the violence and reinforce support for programs that focus on safety and justice for women and their children. By assuring that each individual is valued and supported, we may be able to stop, or at least interrupt, the intergenerational cycle of abuse, neglect and violence. Let’s do it for all the Minnesotans who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. Let’s work together to end the lethality of violence against women and children.

If you or someone you know is struggling with abuse, please seek assistance from law enforcement or a domestic violence program. You also may contact the Crime Victim’s Crisis Center at 507-377-5460, or our 24-hour crisis line at 507-373-2223.

We thank you for your time, interest and support to women and children living in Freeborn County and in Minnesota.

Ilene Grosam

Crime Victims Crisis Center

Albert Lea