Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the wake of the River Falls tragedy, domestic abuse shelters have seen a large increase in the number of calls to its crisis line in the past few days.
The executive director of Turning Point, a non-profit domestic abuse shelter in River Falls, Wis., said the calls have doubled as women are scared for themselves and their children.
The murders of the Schaffhausen sisters has had a profound effect on this community, especially for those in a violent relationship looking for help.
“It’s so close to home,” Kim Wojcik said. “This is so much like my situation.”
Wojcik, executive director of Turning Point, says that’s the kind of things they’re hearing.
Police say Aaron Schaffhausen had previously threatened to hurt his ex-wife, and one of his children.
Wojcik says the women who are calling for help are more worried about their kids.
“The children were harmed, and they’re so much more protective of their children than they are of themselves,” Wojcik said. “So the reality of that, too, made them act.”
Wojcik says in the knit community of River Falls, domestic violence is much more prevalent than people think.
“This is everybody’s problem on every level,” Wojcik said. “And we can’t live in a community where our kids aren’t safe. This is proof some of our children weren’t safe, and there are others who aren’t safe in their homes.”
The message Wojcik has for people is domestic violence is about power and control. It doesn’t always include physical violence.
She encourages anyone who needs help or wants to talk about what they’re going through to find a place to get help in their community.