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Gather in the Park remembers victims of domestic violence

Community members gathered at East Side Park Thursday to speak out against domestic violence in the community.
News Morris,Minnesota 56267
Morris Sun Tribune
Gather in the Park remembers victims of domestic violence
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

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.

Kim Ukura

Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. She has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for human interest, multimedia, business and public affairs reporting.