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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and an important time to recognize and stand up for victims and survivors. Did you know that one in three women and one in four men experience domestic violence in their lifetimes? We would like to think it doesn’t happen in our community, but the truth is that domestic violence happens everywhere. Last year, Southern Valley Alliance assisted 255 individuals in Carver County and 502 individuals in Scott County. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate based on location, race, age, faith, class, immigration status, language, physical ability, gender or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence is a problem that is too often kept quiet. Experiences of abuse can be difficult to talk about, resulting in victims remaining silent. But we must talk about it. During the last 10 years in Minnesota, at least 243 people are victims of intimate partner homicide. Ending domestic violence takes neighbors, businesses and faith communities willing to get involved to put a stop to the cycle of abuse. It takes families, friends and coworkers to join together to end the violence.

We all have a critical role to play in supporting survivors of abuse and preventing it from continuing in our community. Let’s stand up for all the Minnesotans who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. Let’s make our cities stronger and safer for everyone.

For more information or to get help, please connect with Southern Valley Alliance at www.svamn.org or by calling 952-873-4214.

Christie Larson 

Executive Director, Southern Valley Alliance

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