By Teri Knight, News Director
Look on the Rice County jail list and you’ll see a number of those arrested have domestic assault listed as one of the reasons. In Minneapolis earlier this month, a man killed his children, his ex-wife and then himself. This time of year adds additional pressures. Hope Center Executive Director Erica Staab explained, “you’re looking at financial stress. You’re looking at what should be and so all these should’s that we place on each other and ourselves, so that creates some stress. Also kids are out of school a lot so that creates stress. All these activities, that creates stress so imagine all of that stress that we already feel just navigating the holidays and then add that domestic violence and the power and control dynamics and it becomes a really volatile mix”. Historically, domestic violence has not been talked about, there’s a sense of shame. She says we need to talk about it, adding that one in four women experience
domestic violence in the U.S. One in three around the world. Any time someone feels something isn’t right, Staab says that’s the time to contact them at Hope Center. Staab said whether that’s you or you’re witnessing something in someone else’s relationship, you can always contact them and say you’re not sure what’s going on but ask about the services they offer. Often it doesn’t start with physical violence, perpetrators she said, generally only use the amount of physical violence necessary to control the person. She said, “if they can maintain control over the finances, over the schedules, over all of those pieces without physical violence, then there’s not going to be any physical violence within that relationship but it’s still an unhealthy and toxic environment when one person is controlling the other”. As for family and friends who may see some red flags, she said, let the loved one know that you are seeing some things that are concerning and let them know that you’re available to talk if they want to. Staab added, “or, you know, I’d rather risk offending you than to not get you the help that you need and I know these people don’t at Hope Center are more than willing to talk to you or I’ve called on your behalf and I just want to let you know that they’re here for you”. It’s a process that you’ll likely have to have ongoing conversations with, she added that the perpetrator will likely work to isolate the victim in particular if they see someone trying to intervene. There is much more to Staab’s interview HERE. Hope Center’ offers information and resources. They are also starting a group for men called Men of Courage. There have been multiple domestic violence arrests in the last two weeks.
Rice Co. Government Services building gets a lift
Rice County has a new addition to their Government Services Building and Commissioner Malecha brought us up to date saying that Social Services has moved in, Public Health will be in after the first of the year and the Assessors office is getting a remodel. That project has been a year long in the process. The County will also be adding an addition to the Highway Dept building on Hwy 3 near Casey’s in Faribault and remodeling the inside, adding a women’s locker room.
SWCD Tree Sale
The Rice Soil and Water Conservation District is accepting orders for their 2020 Tree Sale. The district has 26 species of trees and shrubs to meet the conservation needs of property owners. The trees can be planted in urban and rural areas for windbreaks, wildlife habitat, erosion control, and other conservation practices. New species available this year include Norway Poplar and Balsam Fir. Most of the stock is bare-root, but a few potted evergreens are available. Orders are taken from now into April on a first come first serve basis. Tree orders can be placed online and be paid by credit card. Complete information is HERE.