Hokah, MN (WXOW)-- In the United States, nearly one in four women is the victim of a domestic assault, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. But there is help for victims of abuse, things like crisis lines and shelters.
In Houston County, there's Bluff Country Family Resources, a non-profit organization. Bluff Country provides a variety of services to victims, including a 24-hour crisis line and emergency housing.
Volunteer advocates, who work with the victims, constantly undergo training, especially as the need for services increases.
In 2011, Bluff country provided about 55 safe homes, but already this year, they've provided more than 100.
"This year's been extremely busy," said Robin Yaffe Tschumber, executive director of Bluff Country Family Resources. "I don't know what's going on this year. We use hotel, motel safe home. The state provides a little bit of money for but I think we're going to easily run out of that money this year."
"Violence does statistically increase when the economy is worse," said Sarah Utley-Wells, an advocate at Bluff Country Family Resources. "So I think that does have something to do with the increase in numbers."
"When people lose their jobs, stress levels go up," said Chief Kurt Zehnder of the Caledonia Police Department. "A lot of times you'll find alcohol involved."
But perhaps another reason for the increase is Bluff Country's outreach effort and partnerships with local law enforcement agencies.
"They hand out excellent packets to us that we give our victims, whether it be male or female," Zehnder said. "We want to make sure that they understand that there is a resource available to them."
Even if an individual isn't ready to leave his or her situation, Bluff Country can help.
"If the victim isn't ready to leave if she's deciding to stay in the home, we continue to provide services to her," Utley-Wells said. "We can safety plan with her around that. The reality is we talk to our victims about the cycle of violence. That abuse happens and it will usually have a honeymoon period and then move in to the abuse again later on. And what we do know is that the abuse continues to get worse and worse over time."
And regardless of gender, sexual orientation or income, any victim of violence qualifies for assistance at Bluff Country.
If you want more information on Bluff Country, you can log-on to www.BluffCountry.org.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.