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The month of October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To raise awareness of this issue in our community, the City of Ramsey has partnered with Rachel Circle, a domestic violence awareness social justice group from Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka, to form a Purple Lights Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness of domestic violence to spark conversations and actions that work toward prevention and to support existing services in the community that are working to end domestic abuse. The Purple Lights Initiative is an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence, mourn those who have died because of violence, celebrate survivors and connect victims to professionals who can help.
Each night, instead of the typical white light that illuminates the city center municipal building, bulbs will be replaced with purple lights to remember those lost due to domestic violence or those currently afflicted by abuse. Funding for the lights is made possible through community partnerships and donations are always appreciated. If interested in donating to the cause, email Mary Sheie or call at 612-910-9475.
In past years, the city has experienced the loss of life from domestic violence. In 2017, the Ramsey Police Department investigated roughly 43 reports of domestic assaults. Additionally, the police department responded to 24 order for protection violations. These numbers do not include incidents of verbal domestic calls or family disputes. The true number of incidents within the city can only be estimated as not all incidents are reported.
Domestic violence is a problem that effects every community. We cannot look the other way; all of us need to be a part of the solution. One way to do that is to report incidents to authorities who can intervene. This sends a message to abusers that violence will not be tolerated and that they will be held accountable. Together, we can be a voice for victims.
There are many organizations and individuals in the community that exist to support victims. The Ramsey Police Department thoroughly investigates all domestic violence calls for service and actively pursues criminal charges in domestic assault cases. The department works closely with Alexandra House, a violence prevention organization, to provide victims with resources and support. The ultimate goal at Alexandra House is to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, and inspire social change through education, support and advocacy.
To do this Alexandra House offers: an emergency shelter, hospital-based advocacy, legal advocacy, safety planning, support groups, therapy services, youth services, follow-up services, aging services, community education, professional training and more.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, call 911 and report the incident. Additional resources can be obtained by contacting the Ramsey Police Department at 763-427-6812 or the Alexandra House 24-hour helpline at 763-780-2330.
We strongly encourage everyone to break the silence on domestic violence and view the purple lights in October as an encouraging, yet unspoken, message of help, hope and healing.