Way 5 – Invest in Domestic Violence Advocacy

Way5To the outside world, Beth had a wonderful 15-year marriage. Behind closed doors, life was different. Her husband insulted her, controlled her relationships, constantly emailed/called her at work. Four days after the birth of their child, he beat her and ruptured her spleen. He routinely beat, bruised and raped her.

Marisa was 17 and living in Mexico. She was kidnapped and held captive. She escaped and returned home but her family rejected her. So, she married her kidnapper. He beat and strangled her daily. When they came to the United States she hoped the abuse would stop. It didn’t; the abuse got worse.

Nicki fell in love at the age of 20 but her boyfriend isolated her, told her she was stupid and unwanted. He held Nicki captive by gunpoint for three days, brutally beat, strangled, whipped and raped her. Finally he slept and Nicki escaped, running five blocks to find help.

What happened to Beth, Marisa and Nicki? Thanks to domestic violence advocacy services around Minnesota, they survived and lead stable, happy lives today.

In 2012, Beth, Marisa, Nicki and 63,267 other victims were able to get help in Minnesota – transportation to a safe location, crisis line support, legal assistance, safe housing, protection orders – a network of interdependent services.

These services exist because of public investments: domestic abuse agencies are an essential connector in a network that includes law enforcement, prosecutors, the education system, the medical system, and social services.

Unfortunately, these services have suffered cuts in recent years, and the network doesn’t reach every part of the state. It’s time to raise the revenues needed to fund these critical services.