10 Ways in 10 Days Five: Invest in Domestic Violence Advocacy

Domestic violence is the painful subject of Day Five of Invest in Minnesota’s 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign. Today’s profile looks at three survivors of domestic violence and how their lives were turned around thanks to advocacy services in Minnesota.

To 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.

The 10 Ways in 10 Days campaign features people from around the state who have first-hand experience with critical state services – and know their value. The campaign highlights how fairly raised revenue and state investments benefit all Minnesotans and why it’s time for policymakers to invest in prosperity for all.

-Leah Gardner

About Leah Gardner

Leah Gardner was the Minnesota Budget Project's outreach coordinator.
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