On Tuesday January 29th, 2012 Domestic Violence Prevention advocates and allies from across the state gathered to mourn the loss of life in Minnesota last year due to Domestic Violence.
For the past several years the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women has kept track of how many people have been killed in Minnesota as a result of Domestic Violence.
The Femicide Report documents the domestic violence homicides in Minnesota each year and is compiled from news accounts and information provided by law enforcement agencies, county attorneys, court administrators, battered women's programs, and family members and friends of murder victims.
At least 14 women
Were murdered in cases where the suspected, alleged, or convicted perpetrator was a current or former husband, boyfriend, or intimate partner.
At least 3 friends, family members or interveners
Were murdered in domestic violence-related situations.
At least 1 man
Was murdered in a case where the suspected, alleged, or convicted perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner.
At least 11 minor children
Were left motherless due to domestic violence murders.
This year we were honored to have Senator Jensen provide the keynote for the Memorial event. I have been attending the Memorial each year since I have come back to Minnesota over 5 years ago now, and hers was the most moving speech I have heard. As the director of HOPE Center I am accustomed to hearing people that are paid to be passionate about these issues speak.
To hear the Senator speak from her heart, to hear her passion and her insight was powerful to me. She spoke of the impact on her family when her sister was harmed attempting to leave an abusive relationship. It was humbling and encouragin to look around the room and see the families of those we have lost, the many officers, Senators and Representatives, Comissioners, Lawyers, Advocates and so many others all gathered to mourn the loss of life, but also to say No More here in Minnesota.
Having worked in several other states and at the national level, I was reminded time and time again that when creating policy, looking at prevention and intervention Minnesota is a national leader in ending Domestic Violence. We are skilled at working cooperatively, in enacting laws that are effective at holding perpetrators accountable and at protecting Victim's Rights.
Times like the Femicide report remind me of how far we have come, but also how far we have to go. I am proud to be back home in Minnesota working with my community to end Domestic and Sexual Violence in Rice County.
I hope that you will continue to work with us and take a stand against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.