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Governor Dayton Declares October Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women released this statement on Monday, October 1 in honor of Governor Mark Dayton's declaration of  October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Already in 2018, 12 Minnesotans have been killed due to domestic violence. Each year MCBW releases the Femicide Report detailing the statistics and giving voice to the victims of those who have been killed due to domestic violence.

SAINT PAUL – Last October saw the rise of the #MeToo movement, in which countless courageous
survivors publicly shared their stories in search of accountability and change. One year later, as we
continue to progress the movement, Governor Mark Dayton has designated October as Domestic
Violence Awareness Month in Minnesota. Organizations across the state will host events to help
spread awareness throughout this month. In addition, the Lowry and 35W St. Anthony Falls Bridges
in Minneapolis will be lit purple on the first of October to honor Minnesota’s survivors and victims
of intimate partner violence.

“Every year we see the tragedies from domestic violence in communities throughout the state, but the
last year has brought a much greater voice to survivors through the awareness of movements such as #MeToo,” said Liz Richards, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.
“We all want and deserve our homes and communities to be safe. We all need to join together against domestic and sexual violence in our communities, and help us all live in safety. The more we learn from survivors through their harrowing stories, the more we can work to affect change.”

Throughout the month of October, hundreds of agencies, businesses, and individuals will participate
in an awareness effort by raising a blue “Live Free Without Violence” flag. The flag is part of a
statewide campaign in memoriam to those lives lost to domestic violence, specifically the most
recent victims in 2018. Over the weekend, the 12th victim of domestic violence was killed in St.
Cloud. The flag will be raised to honor her and the lives of the following victims in 2018: Cristina
Prodan, Edina; Lori Wiederhoeft Moore, Beauford; David Leonard Riess, Blooming Prairie; Lashay
M. Whittaker, St. Paul; Dwayne Hawkins, Minneapolis; Christina Marie Woods, Beatty Township;
Joyce Ann Engelbrecht, St. James; Rachel Schulz Linder, St. James; Shequill Terall Halbert,
Minneapolis; Enedelia Perez Garcia, Shakopee; and Dah Dah Ray, St. Paul.

In the past decade, about 80% of women murdered in Minnesota were killed in domestic violence
homicides. In 2017, at least 24 people were killed due to domestic violence in Minnesota. At least 12
people in the state have been murdered due to domestic violence in 2018.

More information about local Domestic Violence Awareness Month events can be found on the
Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s website