Pro Bono News

Women's Rural Advocacy Program Gives Support to Victims of Domestic Violence (MN)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Women's Rural Advocacy Program Gives Support to Victims of Domestic Violence

"The Women’s Rural Advocacy Program (WRAP) along with Yellow Medicine County Victim Services recently brought a domestic violence training seminar to Yellow Medicine County. An aspect that wasn’t covered in the training was the vast array of services Yellow Medicine County has for victims.

We spoke with Julie Kosen from WRAP and Linda Hagen, the Victim Service Specialist from the Yellow Medicine County, to clear up some of the misconceptions and differences between community-based and government-based advocates.

A topic that was tricky in the domestic violence seminar was the concept of not escalating a bad situation by “tipping off” the abuser that the victim is seeking help.

WRAP has legal confidentiality, so someone seeking help won’t get “in trouble” just by reaching out.

A problem WRAP runs into often is the victim isn’t aware of how bad the situation is. They have donated phones, and educate the victim about the danger of signaling they are looking for help.

The most important thing for the victims is good decision-making.WRAP and the other services discuss and provide options, but it’s the victim’s choice on what to do.

Hagen is a Certified Application Assistant for the Safe at Home program gives an anonymous address. The contact for this program can be found at the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse.

Sometimes victims are scared to tell the whole truth, sometimes they are worried about getting charged, for example, if they were both using drugs at the time of the assault.

Another problem advocates encounter is the victim feeling trapped. They might be struggling financially, or have a child and feel like they can’t leave.

WRAP is a non-profit that services anyone who has experienced abuse (any kind - physical, mental, or emotional.) They get money from grants, state and federal funding. The services they offer are free. They do have services for men as well..."

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