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Editorial: Stand up against domestic violence in the community

If you drive past the Tribune this month, you’ll likely notice purple lights in the window and yard signs put in place as part of the Freeborn County Crime Victims Crisis Center’s Paint the Town Purple campaign.

The campaign happens every October as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month to show the impact of domestic violence in the community and support for victims.

According to the Crime Victims Crisis Center, domestic violence awareness is especially important this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on domestic violence victims. The agency posted on social media this week that victims are experiencing social isolation preventing them from having contact with family and friends, a loss of income causing them to become financially dependent on their abusive partner, increased anxiety related to past and present trauma, barriers to accessing domestic violence services and children having to stay home more and witnessing or experiencing the abuse.

According to Violence Free Minnesota, at least 16 women died from intimate partner violence in the state in 2019, along with at least five bystanders or interveners.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, and on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

The organization states 33.7% of Minnesota women and 23.5% of Minnesota men will experience intimate partner physical violence, rape or stalking in their lifetimes.

Albert Lea and Freeborn County are surely not immune from these statistics.

We encourage you to jump on board the Crime Victims Crisis Center’s campaign this month and show the community you stand against this behavior and you support those who have been victims of it.

String lights are available for businesses, and purple light bulbs are available for porch lights on homes. Yard signs are also available for both businesses and homes.

Call the Crime Victims Crisis Center at 377-5460 during regular working hours to set up a time to pick up these items.