Advocates invite community to local rally

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Advocates to end domestic violence will join survivors, civic leaders and community members at a noon rally March 7 in Albert Lea to draw support for domestic violence services and demand elected officials make ending violence a priority.

Advocates from Freeborn County Crime Victims Crisis Center and Freeborn County Domestic Violence Partnership have teamed up with the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women for a statewide day of action, “It Happens Here.”

The theme aims to recognize that domestic violence happens in every county, township and city across Minnesota to more than 65,000 people each year. “It Happens Here” also sends the message that solutions to end violence happen locally with the investment of each member of the community.

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“It is important as a community that everyone become involved.  This is not a private family matter. It affects more than just the victim,” said Andrea Hall, who works with Freeborn County Court Services. “It affects the police officers responding, other family members, neighbors, employers, bystanders, those who work with victims and so many more. If you look closely and take the time to understand domestic violence, you will see how far reaching it is and why it is important for everyone to take a stand against it.”

CVCC will be one of over 80 organizations to participate in “It Happens Here,” and Freeborn County courthouse courtroom two, will be one of 25 events happening simultaneously at noon across the state.

CVCC will display a blue flag with the words live free without violence at the rally and recite the names of victims murdered due to domestic violence in 2016.

According to a press release, all participating agencies at the 25 sites will read from the same script at noon on March 7. Speakers at CVCC’s rally will include Tanya Fure, sister of victim a year ago, Trisha Nelson.

“In Minnesota, in one month, rape and abuse victims said ‘help me’ 11,000 times, and victim services were forced to say ‘I want to help you, but I can’t,’” said Liz Richards, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. “Our elected officials have the responsibility to maintain funding for these life-saving services.”

The statewide day of action comes as state and federal legislators begin budget discussions, including funding for domestic and sexual violence victim services. The financial support provided by the legislature makes it possible to provide essential safety services such as safe housing and sexual assault examinations in communities across the state.