Domestic Violence Trends in the F-M Are Disturbing - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Domestic Violence Trends in the F-M Are Disturbing

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With the violence that took place in Kansas City, our facebook has blown up with people commenting on gun control laws. If more rules were in place, regarding who can get a gun and how fast they're able to get their hands on them, would it change how often awful situations like Saturdays murder suicide would occur?

At the Y-W-C-A in north Fargo, Executive Director Erin Prochnow has seen what domestic violence can do. She's also seen a steady increase in the number of cases since she started here in 2007. Back then nearly 45 percent of all the people who came here were escaping domestic violence. But that number is growing. 

"In 2011 that number was 76 percent. Or more than three of every four women and children that needed the support of the Y-W-C-A were doing so because of some kind of domestic violence incident." Says Prochnow.

Through the Y-W-C-A's emergency shelters and housing programs they're able to help about 150 men, women and children in our community everyday. But in light of yesterdays murder/suicide in Kansas City, do people think it might be just too easy to get a gun?

Some think so. Like Dustin Brost of Fargo, "there should be a lot more rules in place."

In both North Dakota and Minnesota it's not tough to purchase a gun. You'll have to get a permit and pass a background check, where they'll ask you about any domestic violence history you may have. They'll then find out if you're a felon, alien, fugitive, and check to see if you have an valid id. But if all those categories check out, you could walk out of the shop within minutes with a gun. While we don't know if accessibility to a gun would have changed the circumstances in Kansas City, we do know more and more people in our community are dealing with the horror of domestic abuse.

Prochnow says there really isn't a demographic of people domestic violence specifically effects, "it could be friends we know, coworkers, it might be the people we sat next to in church. It knows no bounds."

A staggering statistic, the average victim of domestic violence will try leaving seven times before finally making it out of an abusive situation. If you know someone dealing with abuse from their partner, let them know about the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, or the Y-W-C-A. We've included their 24 hour phone line numbers below.

Rape and Abuse Crisis Center 701-293-7273

Y-W-C-A 701-232-3449

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