October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is an important month in recognizing those affected by domestic violence. Allocating a month of awareness connects advocates, legislators, communities, victims, and survivors in supporting and ending violence.

Domestic violence is any abuse to exert power and control over another. This violence does not discriminate. Consequently, any race, age, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic background, or education level can be affected.

This violence can take the form of physical and sexual violence, verbal threats, intimidation, digital and emotional abuse, and socioeconomic deprivation.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 24 people a minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S. and more than 12 million women and men are affected in one year.

There are two local crisis centers where victims of domestic abuse may receive support – Someplace Safe in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and Three Rivers Crisis Center in Wahpeton, North Dakota.

Someplace Safe is a non-profit organization that works to assist victims. They provide services to nine counties in Minnesota and have an advocacy office in Breckenridge. They provide free and confidential services to help victims through all crimes, whether that be domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, harassment or theft.

Three Rivers Crisis Center serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse in Richland County. They provide free confidential 24-hour crisis line, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, education and advocacy.

“The fact that our services are free allows everyone to access them no matter what their income may be or what their position may be, our services are free regardless,” said Ashley Zach, director of development and communications at Someplace Safe.

Zach recommends ways for the community to participate in supporting this cause. Support can be done through listening to someone tell their story or offering a helping hand, getting involved in local events through volunteering and attending fundraisers, wearing purple for Day of Purple on Oct. 24 to honor those impacted by domestic violence, or donating one dollar a day that can help local victims have access to critical resources.

Someplace Safe will be holding their 8th Annual Chili Feed Fundraiser from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 at the Senior Citizens Center in Breckenridge, Minnesota. There will be a free-will donation in which proceeds benefit the programs and services at Someplace Safe Wilkin Advocacy Office.

The Zonta Club of Breckenridge-Wahpeton will hold its annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Greenquist Academy in Breckenridge, Minnesota, to watch a short self-defense demonstration. The walk will begin after the demo and travel along Minnesota Avenue towards the bridge and stop at the bridge for a short presentation. The walk will continue on Dakota Avenue and end at the Three Rivers Crisis Center in Wahpeton for a short reception. Donations collected from the walk will be split between Three Rivers Crisis Center and Someplace Safe.

More information about events, Day of Purple, volunteering, and donations can be found at www.someplacesafe.info and www.threeriverscrisiscenter.weebly.com.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, call Someplace Safe at 1-800-974-3359, or Three Rivers Crisis Center at 701-642-2115.

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