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Greg Holman, Prairie Rose, N.D., Published October 19 2013

Letter: Help those who suffer violence

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend my first Take Back the Night march in Fargo. This was a march up and down Broadway, followed by a rally at Island Park dedicated to preventing domestic and sexual violence.

As part of the rally, they read a list of names of people in the past year who have died as a result of domestic and sexual violence in North Dakota and Minnesota. My heart broke as they read this list of names.

These were people who were needlessly taken from this world, some as young as babies, some elderly, and everywhere in between. What made this even more impactful was that I stood there, listening to this list of names, between two women I’ve come to know well, both of whom are survivors. When I met them, I would never have guessed they had been victims of violence. They’ve escaped their abuse and are now safe, but both have told me that they almost hadn’t. They were nearly names on this same list. The world is a better place with them in it, but they were almost lost.

It is a tragedy we keep losing people to something so unnecessary and preventable. October is domestic violence awareness month. I knew the statistics, but I didn’t feel the impact of that until I had actually talked to someone who has lived through this.

Odds are that you know someone who is suffering or has suffered from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, but you probably don’t even know it. If someone comes to you telling their story, be a listener, care, and help them get help.

The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center provides amazing care free of charge. You might be the one to help them save their life.