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Editorial: Violence victims don’t have to walk alone

We join the voices of community leaders and residents who came together Tuesday to promote domestic violence awareness.

As part of a statewide effort to promote “It Happens Here,” dozens of people gathered at the Freeborn County courthouse as part of a partnership with the Freeborn County Crime Victims Crisis Center, Freeborn County Domestic Violence Partnership and Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

Domestic violences happens to more than 65,000 people each year across Minnesota, but less than 50 percent of victims seek help, according to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

There is much work to be done, and we encourage people to come together to find solutions.

As the event’s title states, first, people must realize that domestic violence happens everywhere — even in Albert Lea.

In fact, most of the homicides that have happened in Albert Lea in the last decade have been a result of domestic violence.

Let domestic violence victims know there are local and state resources available to help them, and we encourage the development of even further resources.

The Crisis Center in Albert Lea is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday inside the Freeborn County Courthouse at 411 S. Broadway in Albert Lea, and can be reached at 507-377-5460.

It offers assistance with orders for protection and harassment restraining orders, court accompaniment, victim advocacy, educational support and assistance with filing reparation applications.

The Crisis Center also has a crisis line, which is typically answered by trained volunteers. During the hours the Crisis Center isn’t open, on nights and weekends, the 507-373-2223 crisis line can be called.

We hope domestic violence victims know they do not have to walk alone.