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Know someone in an abusive relationship? You can help

If you or someone you know needs help with relationship abuse, you can call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111 or text 612-399-9995.

MINNEAPOLIS — With Adam Fravel now charged with the murder of his ex-partner, Madeline Kingsbury, a Minnesota group that tracks homicides stemming from relationship abuse is adding the young mother to its page of remembrance.

According to Violence Free Minnesota, a coalition of over 90 member programs working to end relationship abuse, Kingsbury is the 12th victim of intimate partner homicide in Minnesota this year.

After more than 30 years of tracking these incidents, the coalition reports that Minnesota averages roughly one homicide stemming from relationship abuse every other week — and the victims aren't always the target of the abuse. This year's count includes Pope County Sheriff's deputy Josh Owen, who was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call. 

The last annual homicide report in 2021 found that nearly a quarter of the deaths involved similar interveners or bystanders, such as family members or children.

Those are dire statistics, but speaking up and reaching out can help. Every year in Minnesota, advocates receive roughly 80,000 reports of relationship abuse. For many, help and hope do follow.

If you or someone you know needs help with relationship abuse, you can call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111, or text 612-399-9995.

On Friday, KARE11 reporter Kent Erdahl spoke to Joe Shannon with Violence Free Minnesota to better understand how you can get involved if you suspect someone is in danger.

Kent Erdahl: "Are there common mistakes - or misconceptions people have - when approaching someone who may be in an abusive relationship?"

Joe Shannon: "Absolutely. For someone who is not in an abusive relationship, the thing they immediately think is: You have to get out. You have to get out of that relationship right now. That may seem, on the outside, the obvious thing to do, however, we know that leaving a relationship is the most dangerous time.

"It's not advised to simply tell a person who you believe is in an abusive relationship to get out. It's also not that simple."

Erdahl: "So what do you tell someone who does see some kind of cause for concern? Where should they start?"

Shannon: "Start by doing a little research. Even Google can work. Just search, 'What can I do for someone in an abusive relationship?' Just help educate yourself first, and then reach out to the person if you think they are in an abusive relationship.

"Don't start immediately giving them advice on what they should and should not do. Ask them how you can support them and what they need for your support and keep checking in.

"It's also a great idea to contact a domestic violence program."

Erdahl: "Even if you're not the one directly involved, you're saying, contact a domestic violence program as a friend?"

Shannon: "Yeah, absolutely. Figure out what you can do to safely plan for your loved one or friend. Advocates are the experts and they work with survivors on a daily basis. This is what they do. Then you already have that relationship. That way - if the person who is being abused is comfortable enough - you can connect them with the advocate that you already spoke with."


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