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Domestic violence is on the rise in Minnesota

Did you know that domestic violence ended 34 Minnesotans' lives in 2011? The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women reports that this is an increase from previous years. Twenty-nine individuals were lost in 2010, and 25 victims died in 2009.

A spokesperson from the coalition made a statement: "We document these brutal murders to direct attention to the dangerous reality of domestic violence and the urgency to do more to protect the victims of domestic violence." While it is extremely difficult to predict which domestic abuse disputes will end in death, the Femicide Report released some of the various warning signs: extended history of domestic or other violence; pregnancy; access to a gun; stalking; forced sex and severe jealousy.

It is important to note that of the 23 women killed last year, 11 of these individuals had separated from their abuser or were attempting to leave. While it seems that leaving a dangerous person would make an individual safer, separating increases the risk of harm because abusers increase their efforts to control the victim.

In many cases, people are victims of domestic abuse for years; however, because they have become conditioned to it, they do not realize what is happening. If you know that you are a victim of domestic violence, you should take the appropriate steps to protect you from further harm. You may want to contact an attorney. He or she can help you take the requisite steps to ensure that you and your children are guarded from danger.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Domestic violence deaths: At least 34 in Minnesota last year, report says," Emily Gurnon, Feb. 1, 2012.

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