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MN organizations fly flag to honor victims of domestic violence


Minnesota organizations are raising a flag to honor three people killed recently in suspected cases of domestic violence.

Last week, Rose Downwind's former boyfriend was charged with murder in the death of the Bemidji mother of five. According to the charges, he "put his shoulder into her" during an argument and she fell down the stairs. He and two others buried and burned the body, the criminal complaint says.

Two men were also killed last week. Criminal charges filed in the case says Dominic Jasper and Kavonta Pratt were shot by a man who was jealous Jasper was dating his ex-girlfriend. Jasper was shot nine times, Pratt was shot twice.

Those three deaths mark the 30th, 31st and 32nd suspected domestic violence killings in Minnesota this year, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women says.

About the flag

According to the coalition, their Live Free Without Violence flag is part of a campaign to spread awareness of domestic abuse.

The group says they raise the flag in October to recognize National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, at the end of January when they release their annual Femicide Report, and every time someone dies because of domestic abuse.

Businesses, organizations and individuals can buy a their own flag to spread awareness.

Domestic violence in Minnesota

So far, there have been 32 deaths in Minnesota attributed to suspected domestic violence. That's compared to 23 last year and 37 in 2013.

Safe Haven Shelter says one-in-four Minnesota women will become victims of abuse. They say domestic violence is also the leading cause of injury to women.

Domestic violence doesn't just affect women. According to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, one-in-10 men are victims of domestic abuse.

Every year, the coalition keeps track of the deaths related to abuse and releases an annual Femicide Report. The report contains statistics and other information on the women, men and children who lost their lives that year. The 2015 report will be released January 26, 2016.

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