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Women’s shelter provides hope for victims of domestic abuse

Far too often, many victims of domestic violence feel as though they have no place to turn to for help. Victims are often isolated by their abusers from friends and family members. Many times it is that isolation and despair which causes victims of domestic violence to remain in abusive relationships.

In Duluth, Minnesota, a battered women's shelter is working to provide resources for victims of domestic abuse and help them escape further physical and emotional harm. "Safe Haven" offers just such a place where women can begin to turn their lives back around and regain a sense of normalcy.

The executive director of Safe Haven says that her agency routinely encounters women who are in real crisis. The director says that the shelter's facilities contain 39 beds which are rarely empty and are used to offer battered women a place to go when there is nowhere else for them to turn.

According to the executive director, the agency aspires to provide "one-stop shopping" for battered women by offering victims support in areas such as housing, legal assistance, employment counseling and other related services. Last year Safe Haven provided assistance to approximately 2,000 individuals.

Although the shelter does receive assistance from the state of Minnesota, it also relies on the donations of private individuals.

If you are the victim of an abusive relationship, you should be aware that Minnesota provides many legal remedies designed to protect you and your children from your abuser. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to obtain a protective order prohibiting your abuser from contacting you.

In domestic abuse cases involving children, you can petition a family court to obtain custody of your children in order to remove them from a potentially violent situation. It may be worth your while to explore all of your legal options to ensure the preservation of your safety as well as your children's.

Source: Northlands News Center, "A Safe Haven for victims of domestic violence in the Northland" Raeanna Marnati, Sep. 10, 2014

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