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Domestic violence: A rising problem in Minnesota

Throughout the ages domestic violence has been a problem in marriages and romantic relationships. Abuse, whether physical or mental, takes its toll on a person's health and well-being. Many times victims are able to get away but other times they are not. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. While men can also be victims of abuse, the majority of cases involve women.

Minnesota does not tolerate domestic violence. Several domestic abuse shelters are available across the state for victims. But due to an increase in victims, many of these shelters are being overcrowded.

Last year the state cut funding by $70,000 to the Lewis House, which is a state funded nonprofit that supports more than 13,000 people a year with over 40 locations statewide. The Lewis House offers food shelves, domestic violence shelters as well as resource centers for victims. At the beginning of the year state prosecutors announced that there was an uptick on domestic violence incidents.

Domestic abuse is defined as an abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner over the other to gain control. Many cases are between spouses. For individuals involved in an abusive relationship, there is a way out. Through an order of protection, a domestic abuse victim can get immediate protection through an ex-parte protection order. But sometimes parties choose to abuse this process, especially if one spouse is attempting to gain an edge over the other spouse in divorce. Judges will often look deeply into the relationship for proof of abuse.

The safeguards are in place for a good reason. Domestic abuse is not something to mess around with. Both victims of domestic abuse or anyone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence may find an attorney helpful.

Source: KSPT.com, "Domestic Violence Shelter Exceeds Capacity in Metro," Maricella Miranda, May 6, 2013

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