FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2019
ANTI-VIOLENCE ADVOCATES RALLY IN CAPITOL
Call for continued leadership to end domestic violence
Saint Paul, MN – Advocates and community members working to end domestic violence gathered in the Capitol rotunda on Wednesday morning for a statewide day of action, “Minnesota Leads the Way,” coordinated by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.
“The site of one of the nation’s first shelters for victims of domestic violence is in Saint Paul,” said Liz Richards, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. “Minnesota has a long history of leading the work to end domestic violence.”
Eighteen names were read as attendees remembered Minnesota’s 12 victims of domestic violence homicide in 2018 and the six people killed so far this year. Rally attendees were then encouraged to sign postcards to their elected officials which asked legislators to support Domestic Abuse Transformation programs at $5 million a year and create a Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Fund. Such programs aim to change the behaviors of perpetrators of domestic violence to protect victims from further harm.
“When our elected officials support domestic abuse transformation programming and invest in prevention, it demonstrates Minnesota’s continued leadership towards ending domestic violence in our state,” Richards said.
Speakers at the 11AM rally included Artika Roller, Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women board member; Louise Matson, executive director of the Division of Indian Work; Justin Turrell, executive director of Council of Minnesotans of African Heritage; and Molly Nhean, a high school student and member of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s Youth Advisory Board.
“With the leadership of survivors and those most impacted by violence combined with the support of our elected officials, we can end relationship violence Minnesota,” said Richards. “It’s been 45 years since the first domestic violence shelter opened; just imagine what our state could do in the next four decades.”
The Domestic Abuse Transformation Program in the House is HF 464 and in the Senate is SF 1683. The Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Fund in the House is HF 479 and in the Senate is SF 608. If you are a victim experiencing abuse, contact Day One at 866-223-1111 to connect with services.
Becky Smith, Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, 573.881.4647