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October 2019 Newsletter
After 40 years, Minnesota’s statewide coalition of programs working to end domestic violence has changed its name to Violence Free Minnesota. In 1978, a collective of committed advocates and survivors created the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women to secure funding from the state legislature and support programs statewide. Four decades later, the coalition remains dedicated to improving public policy and supporting our member programs. While we are proud of our history, the landscape of our work and the movement to end violence is more complex and challenging than ever. The movement to end relationship abuse must be highly iterative and adaptive. As advocates and survivors, we continuously search for new and innovative ways to end relationship violence in Minnesota and beyond. This is why we are excited to embrace our new identity as Violence Free Minnesota: The Coalition to End Relationship Abuse. Our name now reflects our shared goal of a state where we can all live free, without violence.
As we transition to a new name and refreshed brand, we are excited to offer new communication channels, including this e-newsletter. We look forward to telling you about the immediate impact our low-barrier, high-trust Survivor’s Fund has on the life of a victim-survivor. We can’t wait to tell you about the expansion of the Project Connect universal health screening and referral model into a clinic working with Karen patients. In the coming months, we will feature our recommendations to the Department of Corrections based on our interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated Native women at Shakopee Prison.
We are excited to share this milestone with you and continue to work towards a violence free Minnesota!
P.S. We couldn't have completed the rebranding process without the guidance of our member programs and community stakeholders or help from IMAGEHAUS' 4C Giving Program. Thank you!
Last month, advocates from across the state gathered to learn from each other and plan for the future at Violence Free Minnesota’s Annual Meeting. We focused on the impact the criminal justice system has on survivors; innovative efforts to prevent violence before it begins; housing and economic justice; and how we can collectively create more inclusive shelter services so all survivors can find safety. The Annual Meeting also hosted the Inspire Awards to honor the work of advocates, allies, and volunteers working to end relationship violence across the state.
In 2019, at least 14 people have been killed due to relationship violence in Minnesota. Upon the release of our 30-year retrospective on intimate partner homicide, Violence Free Minnesota closed the “Live Free Without Violence” public awareness flag campaign and launched “We Remember,” a web-based memorial. We will continue to issue notifications each time there is an intimate partner homicide in Minnesota; if you would like to be added to that notification list, please contact Joe at email@example.com. We will direct the media, member programs, and committed community members to the “We Remember” section of Violence Free Minnesota’s website to learn more about the victim and ways to take action against relationship abuse. In the coming months, we will use this portion of the newsletter to honor a victim of domestic violence homicide from this or previous years.
It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month! The official color of the movement to end domestic violence is purple. Please Participate in Purple Thursday on October 24th. Wear as much purple as possible, hang up purple decorations, encourage others to wear purple, and celebrate with a photo! Be sure to tag @ViolenceFreeMN or #VFMN on social media so we can repost and spread the word that you support respectful relationships and a violence free Minnesota!
Domestic violence awareness events are happening across the state.