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Someplace Safe a haven for those in need

Someplace Safe is a place to go for anyone in need of assistance.

It is a nonprofit organization working to eliminate violence in West Central Minnesota and beyond.

Tanja Richter, Crime Victim Advocate for the Wadena office, said the agency's mission is to create a safer world for everyone by working to eliminate violence and oppression through advocacy, education and services.

Someplace Safe provides emergency services and support for victims of violence and their families. Advocates collaborate with systems professionals to create safe, healthy communities. Richter can help provide information and resources to individuals.

"We can help with filing Orders for Protection, helping someone through the criminal process or other services," Richter said.

An empowerment group meets regularly. Also, Someplace Safe offers parenting time centers as a safe, neutral location for child exchanges and supervised parenting time.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Someplace Safe is inviting everyone to remember those who have experienced domestic violence, honoring those who have lost their lives and celebrating survivors by wearing purple Oct. 22.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender socioeconomic background or education level, Richter said. It doesn't have any boundaries and it happens in every community.

On average, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Chances are, most people personally know someone who has been affected by domestic abuse or physical violence.

Someplace Safe has offices in nine counties: Wadena, Otter Tail, Stevens, Big Stone, Traverse, Wilkin, Grant, Douglas and Pope.

In the entire organization, more than 4,500 individuals are served annually. The agency provides more than 1,000 nights of safety to crime victims. More than 12,000 people benefit from community education from Someplace Safe.

Someplace Safe is funded by the Office of Justice Program but also relies on donations and volunteers.

"When someone leaves an abusive situation they often don't have anything so gas cards, toiletries, diapers, anything can help," Richter said.

Her office receives referrals from hospitals, social services and law enforcement.

Richter is typically available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but understands that people could need help any time, day or night. A 24-hour crisis line is available at (800) 974-3359.

For more information about Someplace Safe in Wadena call (218) 631-3311 or tanja.r@someplacesafe.info.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561
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