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It's no joke

Vow not to stand in silence during Domestic Violence Month (or any other month)
Kari Voss-Drost, Southwest Crisis Center assistant director

This past weekend I was in line at a concession stand when a guy standing behind me started harassing the woman at the front of the line.
As he did so, he laughed and rhetorically asked, “If you can’t verbally abuse your neighbor, who can you?”
The answer is, “No one.”
Whether it is verbal, physical, sexual or psychological, violence and abuse is never OK.
Now, I understand that the man thought he was being funny and making a joke, but the problem is that abuse is never OK and it is certainly not a joke.
In the last 12 months, the Southwest Crisis Center (SWCC) worked with over 400 individuals who experienced domestic violence.
None of them came to the SWCC laughing that their partner was so funny. Across the state of Minnesota in 2021, at least 26 people were killed from domestic violence.
How does this happen?
How do over 400 people in rural Minnesota find themselves not safe in their own home? How is it that every year Minnesotans are losing friends, family members, sisters, mothers, brothers and fathers to domestic violence?
It is because we laugh – uncomfortably, so maybe we snicker, we stand in silence. We use phrases such as “It’s just a joke,” “Lighten up,” “Don’t take things so seriously,” “Boys will be boys,” and “Don’t let a girl do better than you.”
This year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, vow not to stand in silence. Question where someone’s sense of entitlement comes from that they think any form of violence against another person is permissible. Lend support and encouragement to someone experiencing violence.
Not sure where or how to start? The Southwest Crisis Center is here to help you. Check us out online at, on social media, or by calling 1-800-376-4311.
I’m serious.

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