A young girl marches with protesters in downtown Minneapolis on Nov. 24

When do we #SayHerName? Examining the systems behind the death of Jamar Clark

As protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis (BLM-Minneapolis) took to the streets over the past few weeks, the now-familiar message was clear: Clark did not deserve to meet his untimely death on a North Minneapolis sidewalk by a bullet in his head. His death, another tally in a string of fatal encounters between unarmed black men and law enforcement agencies across the country, was another notch in the need to address the issue of discriminatory police practices and for reform. The formulaic response to yet another police killing also meant a backlash against the narrative of who the real victim was in this fatal encounter. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Domestic violence against Hmong women: The silent truth

Did you know, as a Hmong woman, you are considered your husband’s property? You were bought and paid for during the marriage ceremony and now he has the right to do whatever he wants to you; just like a piece of jewelry, an old shirt or a dog. There isn’t even a word for marriage in Hmong…the way you say marriage in Hmong is literally “buying your wife.” Yes, this is a very different perception of marriage but this view is how many Hmong elders, clan leaders and Hmong people, both men and women, still consider marriage today. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why domestic violence against Hmong women is so prevalent and causes so much harm within the Hmong community whether we want to believe it or not.

Continue Reading

Signs of domestic violence aren’t always obvious, especially in teen relationships

In March, several hundred protesters gathered at the state Capitol to call attention to a growing surge of Twin Cities women being domestically abused.One statistic pulled them together: Eight women killed this year, allegedly by husbands or boyfriends they were trying to leave.Their names have become headline news: Kira Trevino, Margorie Holland, Manya Johnson, and in late February, Anna Hurd, a 16-year-old from Maplewood, who was murdered in Hillside Park. Her boyfriend pleaded guilty to the crime last week, and according to news reports, was “controlling” and “jealous.”Added to the list in late April is 19-year-old Rebecca Kasper, a Northfield High School grad who was attending Arizona State University. She was reportedly found handcuffed and beaten in the bathtub at her boyfriend’s apartment. He’s accused of her murder.Anna Sahli, a violence prevention educator at Harriet Tubman Center West in Minneapolis, sees domestic violence cases every day. She travels to Twin Cities schools to talk about healthy relationships with teens. Continue Reading