Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women

The Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women held their first annual 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, October 18, 2003. I participated in the walk to support the work of the shelter in Belle Plaine.

We started out at Belle Plaine’s Heritage Park.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the course passed the Halloween Fair at Emma Krumbee’s

and under highway 169 past a huge pumpkin patch to the Belle Plaine Veteran’s Park.

We hiked all the way around the Lutheran Nursing home and back around to Heritage Park, where under the pavillion you could buy a hot dog and lemonade.

The Southern Valley Alliance was started in 1982 by Maxine Kruschke, who, five years after leaving an abusive marriage, began talking to a few people about the issue of domestic violence and with a group of volunteers offered direct support to five victims of battering.
The Alliance also held a Candlelight Vigil on Oct. 23rd, and will have a Poinsettia Sale and Fundraiser. To learn more about these and other events, visit their website.

There you can find some of the story and accomplishments of the Alliance like this:

In 1983, the organization received initial funding, enabling it to become incorporated and provide both individual advocacy and support groups to victims of battering. Since then, The Alliance has assisted over 8,400 women and their children, in their struggle for a violence free, healthy family life.
-Crisis phone line opens, serves five women. Since then, trained advocates have answered more than 6,200 first contact calls from abused women.
-Women’s support groups begin. Since then, more than 2,000 support groups were run by volunteer survivors of domestic violence, trained in support group and facilitation skills.
-Community education programs begin. Domestic violence affects people of all ages, races, religions and socioeconomic levels. Rather than ask, “Why does she stay?”, the Alliance community education program asks, “What in our community is keeping her there?” Our community education programs have reached more than 125,000 people face-to-face. Speakers explain that silence and misinformation allow batterers to continue to assault women. They teach what we all can do to stop domestic violence.

In 1985
-Legal advocacy services begin. To date, they have attended nearly 2700 court hearings.
– Safe homes introduced. These homes are private homes where women and their children can stay with a family for up to three days while shaping longer term plans. Nearly 200 women have been sheltered in safe homes.
– Presentations begin in schools. Nearly 1,000 presentations have reached nearly 30,000 children and youth.

In 1991
– Children’s support groups begin. Because of severe budget cuts in 2003, Children’s Support Groups are no longer available.

In 1993
-Carver County Criminal Justice Intervention Project begins. This project along with one in Scott County (1998) has assisted more than 2,000 women. Because of severe budget cuts in 2003, the Carver County Intervention project is no longer available for Carver County residents.
-“Living Violence Free” classes for juvenile offenders begin. Over 550 groups have been initiated, with over 2,800 youth in attendance.
-Support groups at MN Women’s Correctional Facility in Shakopee, MN begin.
– Sheila Wellstone visits several times to analyze the “state-wide role model” for safe home programming after referral from the MN Dept. of Corrections.

In 1996
-i’M o.K. Children’s Visitation Center opens. At the Center, children can visit their non-custodial parents in a safe, comfortable setting. Supervised exchanges between custodial and non-custodial parents also are offered. Since late 1996, the Center has hosted more than 1600 visits and nearly 500 exchanges.

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