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Take a stand against violence

We invite readers to take a stand against domestic violence. October has been designated National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Headwaters Intervention Center will be sponsoring a Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction on Oct. 16, 5-7 p.m., at the American Legion in Park Rapids in support of its work with victims of domestic violence. We encourage readers to learn more about how to end violence against women and their children.

Domestic violence is a problem that is too often kept quiet, or ends with devastating results. The human cost is staggering. This year, 12 women, two children and four adults have lost their lives in domestic-violence-related homicides, according to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. Our community's response is critical both for victims' safety and perpetrator accountability. Women and their children must be provided protection and given the support necessary to improve their circumstances. And, perpetrators must be held accountable for their violence and be given appropriate penalties that require changes in their behavior.

Ending domestic violence takes neighbors, business owners and faith communities willing to get involved and to provide a circle of support. It takes families, friends, neighbors and co-workers saying, "We will do what it takes to stop the cycle of violence and abuse." Please join our efforts to stop the violence and reinforce support for programs that focus on safety and justice for women and their children. By assuring that each individual is valued and supported, we may be able to stop, or at least interrupt, the intergenerational cycle of abuse, neglect and violence. Let's do it for all the Minnesotans who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. Let's work together to end the lethality of violence against women and children.

If you or someone you know is struggling with abuse, please seek assistance from law enforcement or a domestic violence program. Please contact your local domestic abuse and child abuse program of Headwaters Intervention Center, Inc. at 732-7413 M-F, 1-800-939-2199 evenings and weekends or Day One Crisis line 866-223-1111 for assistance.

We thank you for your time, interest and support to women and children living in Hubbard County and in Minnesota.

Florence Hedeen

Headwaters Intervention

Center, Inc. board chair