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Letter - The responsibility of ending violence is with all of us

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To the editor:

Three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, according to the Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence. While it impacts many with far-reaching impact, few discuss the issue in day-to-day conversation.

With October designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Someplace Safe would like to take advantage of this opportunity to help educate and raise awareness in our communities by challenging us all to get involved. The responsibility to end violence lies with each of us, and the ways in which we choose to speak out can be limitless, but here are just a couple of ideas to get us started:

•Learn to recognize and oppose harmful and inappropriate speech and behaviors and challenge yourself to stop them when they occur.

•Remember the power of one. It only takes ONE person to make a difference in the life of someone else.

•Avoid being an uninformed or uninvolved bystander to violent behaviors - it is each of our responsibility to intervene if someone is in harm's way.

More than 32 million Americans are affected by domestic violence each year. While this number may be staggering, it serves as further incentive for us to come together against violence in our homes and within our communities so that we all can lead healthier, safer lives.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn more about what you can do to end violence by visiting Someplace Safe at www.someplacesafe.info or following us on Facebook. Please feel free to contact Someplace Safe locally at (320) 762-1995 for more information. Trained advocates are also available 24-hours a day at 1-800-974-3359 if you or someone you know is in need of assistance.

Diane Kittelson, Someplace Safe

Douglas County Outreach Manager

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