Who We Are
New name, same commitment to ending relationship abuse
Founded in 1978, Violence Free Minnesota is a statewide coalition of over 90 member programs working to end relationship abuse. After 40 years, the coalition formerly known as the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW), knew it was time to update our name to better reflect our ultimate goal: to live in a violence free state.
To end relationship abuse, create safety, and achieve social justice for all.
To represent victim/survivors of relationship abuse and member programs; challenge systems & institutions; promote social change; and support, educate, and connect member programs.
Economic Justice and relationship abuse
Financial abuse occurs in approximately 99% of abusive relationships. We work towards safety for all Minnesotans by creating fair, equitable conditions for victim/survivors to obtain stable, safe opportunities for financial independence. These conditions empower victim/survivors to make decisions about their lives and intimate relationships without fear.
Housing and relationship abuse
Relationship violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. When trying to leave an abusive situation, one of the greatest challenges and barriers a victim/survivor can face is accessing safe, affordable housing. Victim/survivors often have to choose between staying in an unsafe home or having no home at all.
Racial Justice and relationship abuse
Racism exacerbates violence in communities of color. While each racial and ethnic community faces different challenges, women of color and Native women experience higher rates of violence. They also encounter more barriers when attempting to access supportive services. Racism and systemic racism are tools created to oppress people of color. We work to dismantle racist systems and policies in order to achieve racial justice and end violence.
Equity and relationship abuse
Marginalized communities bear the undue burden of compounded systemic oppression. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, and ageism exacerbate the violence people experience. These conditions create further harm for victim/survivors. In order to end relationship abuse, we must work towards a just and equitable world where all people have access to resources and support that help them thrive.
Disability Rights and relationship abuse
The term "disability" encompasses many forms and degrees of ability, including physical, developmental, and psychological abilities. Women with disabilities are significantly more likely to experience physical, sexual, and psychological abuse and stalking than their peers without disabilities. They are also more likely to experience sexual and reproductive coercion and control than women without disabilities.
Discrimination, stereotypes, and devaluation of people who have disabilities, or who are perceived to have disabilities, is called “ableism.” These prejudicial beliefs are systematic and can create barriers for victim/survivors who are disabled as they attempt to access supportive services. We work to dismantle systems of oppression - including ableism - that further harm and exacerbate violence.
Reproductive Freedom and relationship abuse
Coercive behaviors that interfere with one partner's reproductive choices are a form of relationship abuse. When victim/survivors lack reproductive and sexual autonomy due to violence and control, their health and well-being is placed at risk. When victim/survivors do not have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services due to restrictive laws, this further limits survivors' autonomy, freedom, and choices. We support the right of all victim/survivors to make reproductive choices free from fear and threats of harm.