Minneapolis city attorney requests council fund domestic violence prevention outreach

Updated: September 16, 2019 06:49 PM

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office is requesting $75,000 from the City Council to fuel a domestic violence prevention program at the same time the city experiences a spike in domestic violence calls.

Crime data shows a 25 percent increase this year compared to last year in the number of domestic violence situations in the city of Minneapolis.

The officials with the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office say they learned many people living in possible domestic violence situations didn't know where to turn for help other than calling the police.

"Many of these cases just need some small intervention upfront to avoid getting to the next level with the police getting involved," city prosecutor Chris Bates said.

Prosecutors visited neighborhoods in “high-crime hot spots” in north and south Minneapolis where the most amount of domestic calls were reported.

The city attorney’s staff spoke with people who called 911 to report a potential domestic violence situation but no report or arrest was made.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal went to a city council budget meeting last week to request $75,000 thousand dollars in new funding for her staff to help connect families earlier with domestic violence advocates who can help.

"We absolutely need to do more to help prevent domestic violence in the home and provide help to these families stressed by living in these areas where there's high crime," Segal said. "We might be able to make a difference."

At last Thursday’s budget meeting, Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham said he backed the city attorney’s efforts when it comes to domestic violence prevention and prosecutions.

"What we see is a very clear connection to witnessing domestic violence in the home and that spilling out into the community,” Cunningham said. “I think the city has a really huge gap with addressing this huge problem."

The Minneapolis City Council will vote on the CAO 2020 budget request along with other departments by year’s end.

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Eric Chaloux

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