Local nonprofits report increase in violent domestic abuse cases

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Twin Cities domestic violence organizations are seeing an increase in abuse cases that are more violent.

In Minneapolis, city data shows there are 74 more domestic violence cases in 2022, compared to this time frame in 2021.

A Maple Grove family is doing their best to heal after seeing the effects of domestic violence firsthand.

Seven years ago, The Beissels received a call they’ll never forget.

“It was horrible. Our life was forever changed the day Natalie died,” Shelly Beissel, Love Conquers Violence co-founder, said. “My sister-in-law Natalie was tragically murdered due to domestic violence.”

Natalie died at the age of 32.

She grew up in Minnesota with dreams of becoming a doctor, but in her fourth year of medical school her life was cut short.

“In hindsight now, all the red flags were there, but at the time we didn’t know,” she said.

So the Beissels started a nonprofit called Love Conquers Violence, an organization that hopes to prevent people from becoming victims of domestic violence.

“I truly hope that Natalie’s voice can help a family not have to go through the pain that we endure every day,” Beissel said.

Rebecca, the operations director for The Saint Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, sees the effects of domestic abuse at her job daily.

She asked not to be identified by her last name.

“We have seen an increase definitely and there’s been also an increase in gun violence and more serious assaults,” she said.

She explained the pandemic magnified an issue that already existed by creating more stressors, financial challenges and dangerous situations.

She said asking for help is not as easy as it sounds.

“It’s a huge step to pick up the phone and make that call for sure. It’s very scary, not knowing what’s going to happen,” she said. “We don’t tell people what to do. We’re here to provide information and support and give good information so people can make informed decisions.”

She said the step is difficult, but it’s worth it.

The organization has support groups and advocacy programs to create a bridge to a better life.

“When people get out and they’ve changed and they’ve gotten help, it’s amazing to see,” Rebecca said.

These domestic violence services are free and the information discussed is confidential.

Call 1-800-799-SAFE if you or someone you know needs help.

The hotline is open 24 hours.