By: Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken
COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA October 10, 2021 (LSNews) Domestic violence is a pervasive problem that every community faces. In several county departments, including the Sheriff’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, and Public Health and Human Services, we work to respond to and prevent domestic violence. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so this is a good time to discuss this important topic and the individual and community-wide effects of domestic violence.
Domestic violence, also known as “relationship abuse,” is a problem that affects even those who have never been personally exposed to it. It crosses class, racial and educational lines and results in well-documented economic losses that affect everyone. The financial losses are due to the burden domestic violence places on workers, medical systems and law enforcement agencies. A 2004 study documented a loss of $ 5.8 billion in the United States in connection with “intimate partner violence” – in 1995 dollars – including health care costs and lost productivity.
Five percent of those surveyed in the 2010 Minnesota Crime Victim Survey, around two-thirds of them women, said they had experienced domestic violence themselves. These respondents were more likely to have called law enforcement during the applicable period, but the survey confirmed that not all Minnesota crimes are reported to the police. Many factors make it difficult for victims of domestic violence to decide whether to report the violence they have experienced (shared finances, children, etc.).
Domestic violence has been known to increase over time and, for some victims, ends in death. The statistics show that victims are most at risk during or shortly after being separated from their abusive partner. The Intimate Partner Homicide Report is a three-decade long project by Violence Free Minnesota (formerly the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women) aimed at documenting every person killed by a current or former intimate partner. Certain “lethality factors” are present in a significant number of domestic violence-related homicides, including: previous threats to kill the victim, an offender’s access to firearms, the perpetrator’s history of violence, and the victim’s attempt to target the perpetrator leave (Report on the murder of intimate partners 2018, p. 13).
In 2019, domestic violence killed 21 people in the state of Minnesota. According to the report, at least fourteen women and five bystanders / interveners were killed. In 2017, 21 women died of intimate partner violence, one child died of relationship abuse, and five bystanders / interveners were killed. Twenty-three children were left without parents for homicides on a partner. A report released in February 2021 found that domestic violence incidents in the US increased by 8.1% following the imposition of lockdown orders during the 2020 pandemic.
Compared to other groups, Native Americans experience disproportionate levels of domestic violence. In a 2010 study by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 84 percent of Indigenous women said they had experienced violence in their lifetime.
Children who grow up in a home environment where they are exposed to violence against a parent are also victims. Long-term childhood violence can cause behavioral, psychological, and physical problems; academic failure; Alcohol and substance use; criminal acts; and a route to adult crime. Here we see the lasting negative effects that relationship abuse has on society. It is a serious problem that everyone should feel responsible for the ending. Please help us answer this call.
For more information on resources on preventing and combating domestic violence in Cook County, contact the Center for Violence Prevention at (218) 387-1262. Trained lawyers are available around the clock at (218) 387-1237. Domestic violence attorney services are also available through Grand Portage Human Services at (218) 475-2453.
To report a concern about child abuse or sexual abuse of a minor, call the Cook County Public Health and Welfare Service at (218) 387-3620. If someone is in imminent danger, please contact law enforcement or call 911.
By: Cook County Attorney Molly Hicken
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Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota’s Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the border between the United States and Canada. By land, it is bordered by Ontario, Canada to the north and Lake County, MN to the west. The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain, is 2,301 feet and the highest lake, total area is 3,339.72 square miles
Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Cook County includes:
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EXPANSION OF THE MOBILE CRISIS PREVENTION UNIT IN THE RAINY RIVER DISTRICT