Raevette Loonan has been the Southwest Crisis Center director in Luverne since 1994. She's pictured here in 2011 for a Star Herald feature story on the agency.

Crisis Center director resigns post in Luverne

 

The Southwest Crisis Center is seeking a new director for its Rock County office after Raevette Loonan resigned early in April.

“It was time for a change,” she told the Star Herald last week.

Her resignation letter was dated April 8, and she is now training in a position at First Farmers and Merchants Bank in Luverne.

“At least we’ll still get to see her in town, and that’s where I do my banking,” said Crisis Center volunteer Mary Lou Mulligan.

She said the role of Crisis Center volunteers is also changing, and she’s not sure she’ll continue helping the local office.

“They’re now requiring 40 hours of training for us to answer phones and handle paperwork,” Mulligan said.

“A lot of us there are old-timers, and I’m not sure we’re going to do it.”

She said the Crisis Center and the people it serves will miss Loonan’s passion and dedication to the cause of ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I thought she did a great job,” Mulligan said, “especially with the school kids.”

Loonan said it was volunteers like Mulligan who made the Crisis Center effective.

“I may have been the face at the desk, but I never did this job alone,” Loonan said Friday.

“I had good volunteers and other professionals in the community who were part of the support network for survivors.”

She said judges, attorneys, law enforcement officers, family services and others played a role.

“Everyone helped the survivors and we all had to be on the same page.”

Loonan focused a good share of her time trying to break the cycle of abuse by educating children early on about what’s OK and what isn’t in terms of physical contact.

Elementary students learned the difference between “good touch and bad touch” and they also learned through a program called “hands are not for hitting.”

High school students benefited from Loonan’s talks about date rape and signs and symptoms of abusive relationships.

Loonan was in charge of Luverne’s office of the Southwest Crisis Center since 1994 providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

People come to the center in emergency circumstances needing a safe place to stay, gas money and some short-term personal supplies.

While she’d like to see an end to those abuses in local families, Loonan has often said it’s rewarding to at least be a part of the healing process for those who are helped through the office.

Information about the position is available at www.mnswcc.org.

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