Gather in the Park remembers victims of domestic violence
MORRIS - On Thursday, Morris community members gathered in East Side Park for an event to educate the public about domestic abuse and sexual assault during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Speakers - which included UMM Violence Prevention Coordinator Bridget Joos, Morris Police Chief Jim Beauregard, County Attorney Aaron Jordan and Mayor Sheldon Giese - emphasized that domestic violence does happen in our community and that it is taken seriously.
In the last year, Someplace Safe has worked with 59 victims of domestic violence, 15 victims of sexual assault, and 10 victims of other crimes, said Erin Koehntop, crime victim advocate.
The message from the Morris Police Department is that "we will not tolerate this in our community," said Beauregard.
Jordan told the group about a recent sexual assault case in the community involving a young girl. The abuse was not reported until years later, but Jordan said his office is working with the young woman to find the truth and "extract a measure of justice."
Jordan said he wanted to spread the message that domestic abuse is taken seriously by his office - offenders are taken to jail in every reported case, rather than just walked around the block and sent home.
At the gathering, Giese signed a pledge declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness month in Morris.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 16, an art exhibit featuring work related to domestic violence or hope for the future will open at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance with a reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The Creative Healing Our Pain with 'Ease'ls - Creative HOPE - exhibit will feature farms forms of artwork in commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
For more information please contact Someplace Safe at (320) 589-3208.