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Free carnival aims to raise awareness about child abuse

Domestic abuse and child abuse are intertwined.

Children in homes where domestic abuse occurs are increasingly at risk to become direct victims of child abuse.

Child abuse reports increased 25 percent in 2016 over the previous year, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council and the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC have joined together to provide a free carnival. The primary purpose of the carnival is to promote awareness of and provide resources about domestic abuse and child abuse and its effects.

The event will be held on Sunday, May 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Firefly Event Barn in Nevis.

The secondary purpose of the carnival is to raise funds for the two non-profit organizations.

"Helping to raise awareness of the impact that domestic abuse and child abuse has on the community is important," states Katrina Carrier, former chair of the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council and co-chair of the carnival committee. "Studies show that children who are victims of abuse underperform in school. It is our collective responsibility as a community to raise awareness for such an important issue."

The Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council's goal is to continue to strengthen families and to provide vital support to programs that are working to prevent child abuse.

The council has funded local programs like S.A.F.E. Parks, Parent Support Group PEACE, FATHER Project, Kinship, Park Rapids Alternative Learning Center and Support Within Reach.

A main obstacle in stopping the cycle of abuse is legal issues.

In a 2015 study by the Institute for Policy Integrity, "Supporting Survivors," the authors of the study, while acknowledging that additional studies need to be completed, determined that legal advocacy decreases the cycle of domestic abuse.

As a result, attorneys Evon M. Spangler and Rachel T. Schromen established the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit law firm in St. Paul that works to stop the cycle of abuse through legal advocacy to domestic violence shelters, including the Headwaters Intervention Center (HIC). The law firm provides pro bono legal advocacy to shelter clients through legal advice clinics and emergency cases.

On Saturday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC will be hosting a pro bono clinic for HIC clients. For further information, contact Amy Workman, HIC executive director, at 732-7413.

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