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Winter 2020 Newsletter
Today marks the beginning of the 2020 Minnesota state legislative session and the first time we’ll enter the Capitol as Violence Free Minnesota, the coalition to end relationship abuse. In the coming months, we will work tirelessly to represent our member programs and advocate for the safety of survivors and their children, just as we’ve done for over 40 years. Our message to decision-makers: Minnesota is safer when we work together to invest in safety and survivors.
We are safer when we give domestic and sexual violence programs the resources and funding so desperately needed to support survivors and their children. We are safer when we all have access to reliable public transportation. Lack of transportation is a barrier to safety for far too many survivors. We are safer when survivors have safe homes to care for their children. No one should choose between living with violence and homelessness. We are safer when we encourage change and invest in domestic abuse transformation programming. Without transformative programming to change a person’s harmful behavior, there will always be another victim.
When we work together, we can make change. Over the next few weeks, we will take to social media and our website to release details about #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Days. From February 24 through April 17, our member programs will host events to mobilize Minnesota’s communities to take action, contact decision-makers, and learn more about how to transform our culture of violence.
Join us. Minnesota is safer together.
Violence Free Minnesota and Casa de Esperanza are partnering to host the annual Youth Conference: Healing Through Knowledge & Action on Saturday, February 29. The conference will kick off with a welcome from Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan followed by a full day of activities that promote healthy relationships and youth empowerment. Breakout sessions include everything from "How to Support a Friend" to " A Power Analysis of Society and Why People are Poor" to "Bead Therapy – Mindfulness Practices." Led by Violence Free Minnesota's Youth Advisory Board and Casa de Esperanza's Youth Amig@s, this annual event is a time for Violence Free Minnesota’s member programs and youth from around the state to connect and strengthen their work to end relationship abuse.
Since 1989, 705 people in Minnesota have been murdered due to intimate partner violence. This number now includes the 20 known victims of intimate partner homicide in 2019.
On January 28, Violence Free Minnesota held our 9th annual memorial to honor Minnesota’s victims of intimate partner homicide. Memorial speakers included Sandy Davidson, survivor with over three decades of advocacy; Brianne LaDuke, youth leader and family member of an intimate partner homicide victim; and Governor Tim Walz, a policymaker committed to making the vision of a violence-free Minnesota a reality. State Representative Marion O’Neill and Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering read the names of the 2019 victims before welcoming a moment of silence in their memories. We were grateful to have so many advocates, policymakers, systems professionals, and survivors in attendance. Most of all, we were grateful for the presence of so many of the victims’ family members and friends.
We continue to keep the names, faces, and lives of Minnesota’s victims of intimate partner homicide in our minds and close to our hearts as we work towards a violence-free Minnesota
We can’t work towards a violence free Minnesota alone. We’re safer - and stronger - together! Forward this email to a friend!
February 11: Legislative session begins!
February 14: Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s March, Twin Cities
February 18: #SurvivorAdvocacyDay at the Capitol
February 25: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in the Southwest
March 3: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in West Central
March 10: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in the Northeast
March 17: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in the Northwest
March 24: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in the Southeast
March 31: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in the Twin Cities Metro
April 14: #SaferTogetherMN Advocacy Day in East Central
More details to come – visit the vfmn.org calendar to keep up to date!