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Rally against domestic violence on Wednesday in Bemidji

BEMIDJI—The Northwoods Battered Women's Shelter has teamed up with the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women for a statewide day of action next week.

Northwoods Battered Women's Shelter will host a rally at noon Wednesday, March 27 at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW.

The rally in Bemidji will occur on the same day advocates gather for a rally in the Capitol rotunda in St. Paul. The title of the rally statewide is "Minnesota Leads the Way in Taking Action to End Domestic Violence."

"Perpetrator programming is a very important piece in Beltrami County's efforts to address the serious problem of domestic violence," Judge Shari Schlutcher of the Ninth District said in a release. "Domestic violence is a choice on the part of the perpetrator. We have to provide perpetrator programming to change the behavior and choices of perpetrators."

Rally attendees will be urged to contact their state legislators to support essential funding bills to support survivors and domestic violence services. Advocates are asking elected officials to support Domestic Abuse Transformation programs at $5 million a year, the release said.

"Minnesota has a long history of leading the work to end domestic violence. Supporting funding for programming to transform perpetrator behavior and investing in prevention programming demonstrates Minnesota's continuing leadership in the field of domestic violence," said Liz Richards, executive director of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, in the release. "We are excited to join the leaders from Bemidji and surrounding communities and move forward the work to end domestic violence."

In Bemidji, speakers will include local law enforcement, court officials and health and advocacy counselors.

The rally is open to the public. For questions, call Erin at (218) 444-1395. If you are a victim experiencing abuse, contact Day One at (866) 223-1111 to connect with services.

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