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Domestic violence is still an issue that is prevalent in our communities and bringing awareness and education about abuse is a focus of Southern Valley Alliance. We would like to think it doesn’t happen in our community, but the truth is that domestic violence happens everywhere. It doesn’t discriminate based on location, race, age, faith, class, immigration status, language, physical ability, gender or sexual orientation. During the last year in Scott County, Southern Valley Alliance answered a total of 652 calls to provide immediate support and resources to people in crisis.

Sometimes when violence occurs, it is easier to look away. Sometimes we don’t want to believe that this type of violence takes place in our own backyards. If we are going to prevent domestic abuse, we need to take concrete steps towards creating community networks of support and safety.

How you can help: As a community, we need to prioritize ending domestic violence by supporting survivors and addressing relationship abuse in schools, workplaces, community centers, churches, and health care centers. As neighbors who care about each other’s well-being, we need to say something when we see someone being harmed. We cannot be silent. We must speak up and act for those who are being abused. Support organizations like Southern Valley Alliance by giving your time and talents. There are always opportunities for volunteer involvement: we can’t do this work alone.

If you need help: Victims and survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence are not alone, no matter how alone you may feel. There is help available in our community to provide resources and support. Southern Valley Alliance provides free and confidential services for those who need help or someone to talk to. You can reach out to our 24/7 crisis line at 952-873-4214, email crisis@svamn.org or through our website, www.svamn.org. Please know that you are not alone. It is not your fault. We believe you and our community is here to support you.

About SVA: Southern Valley Alliance (SVA) is a nonprofit organization that has been providing services and support for victims of domestic violence since 1984. SVA is the service provider for Scott and Carver counties and programs include a 24/7 Crisis line, crisis intervention, court advocacy, safe housing partnerships and community education.

Christie Larson

Executive Director, Southern Valley Alliance