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Recently, a tragic and horrifying event happened in our community, one I knew everyone would hear about. I kept waiting for our community to cry out over the loss of Kristen Bicking’s life, taken in such a brutal and terrible way. It never came. Still, I wait. There were no candlelight vigils, protests in the streets, or voices rising in the air, but there should have been. Kristen did not deserve to die the way she did at the hands of a man that had a history of using violence against her. Kristen could have been your daughter. Your sister. Your mother. Your cousin. Your best friend from elementary school. No matter your relationship to her – or any victim of homicide – we should all agree: no one deserves to die the way Kristen did. 

Kristen is the 10th person murdered due to domestic violence this year in Minnesota. Last year at least 29 people were killed due to domestic violence in Minnesota. Each year, around half of the victims of domestic violence homicide are from rural areas and small towns, just like ours. Abuse is an isolating experience. Often, people who harm their partners try to keep them from interacting with family, friends, coworkers or anyone who might be trusting and supportive. When you are being harmed by someone who claims to care about you, isolated from people who could support you, many feelings can come up including shame, guilt, and hopelessness. Imagine being in that situation, only to have the people you see around town, at the grocery store and gas station, whispering and posting on social media “why does she stay?” or “why doesn’t she make different choices?” or “it can’t be that bad.” 

Did you know that victims are at the most risk of being murdered by their partner when attempting to leave or right after leaving the relationship? Or that financial abuse – which happens in over 95% of abusive relationships – can prevent someone from making “different choices” because they do not have the money to create a safe living situation?  

Our response, as neighbors who care about each other’s well-being, should be “why is he hurting her?” and “why doesn’t anyone stop him from harming her?” and “I believe her.” The question we should all be asking ourselves is, “how can I support her?” 

I understand that it is easier to look away than acknowledge that someone in your community is being harmed by their partner. If we acknowledge it, it means we have the responsibility to do something about it. Of course, fear plays a huge role: fear that you could be hurt if you intervene and fear to look at the situation because you, yourself, might be a victim or someone who uses the same violence in your relationship. It is scary to acknowledge that the person who says they care about you is hurting you. It is scary to acknowledge that you are hurting someone when you know it is wrong and that people might judge and isolate you. However, saying domestic violence doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. It did not prevent Kristen from being murdered.

I want to be clear: victims and survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence are not alone, no matter how alone they may feel. There is help available in the community 24/7 to provide support and help to victims of domestic violence. Advocates for Family Peace provides free and confidential services for those who need help or someone to talk to.  You can reach out at 218-248-5512 or through the website Please know that you are not alone. It is not your fault. We believe you.

Kristen should be with us today, living her life, loved by family and friends.  Remember her name. Remember her courage, her worth, and her value as a member of this community. We all have value and we all deserve to live without violence.


It is hard to make that decission when you are in that kind of relationship.. should I go or would it be easier to stay? Having been through something similar..its frustrating think ..what will others think? And it comes down to what you can do.. I also dealt with restraining orders and having to fight keeping those orders in place.. Whether others didnt believe or what? No excuse for having to fight your own rights as a victim and maintaining sanity.. Please if you are in this type of relationship.. you are not alone..and no one has the right to control you are important, strong, and loved .. we are all born equal and NO ONE should make you feel less than what you are! RIP child of GOD ..

She was my best friend and my voice has been out here, screaming that things need to change. You can't say there are no voices of outrage because I am right the fuck here!!

I was being beat the crap out of in the same place. She heard my screams so did he. Yet I still got the crap kicked out me. But no one ever deserves to be taken from this earth. I have wanted so badly to get a loud speaker on second Avenue in Virginia calling out for women to raise our voices and take a stand against the abuse that goes on so bad here. It just like its normal for a women to have two black eyes and belt marks across the face. I don't get it. If someone anyone is with me. Let's make our voices heard and tell these abusers where to go. Fear isn't standing in my way anymore and Kristen deserves to have a voice. Lets be it for her.

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1st my thoughts and prayers go to family and friends of Kristin she was a wonderful woman with so much to look forward to and had accomplished so much with her eyes on her future. She will forever be missed and remembered. 2nd my thoughts prayers to anyone else that has been in this kind of situation as well as my hopes and voice to help those who may currently be in a domestic situation hopes you find your way out realize your worth it and do not deserve it i know its scary and not as easy as it is said being a survivor of it myself, find that hope, strength, and bravery to have your rights and peace of mind back! You are worth it. Please reach out for help. Finally i will be joining others on the march for an end to domestic violence, as well as the vigil for Kristin to keep her memory alive and let the voices be heard!! #justiceforkristen. #enddomesticviolence

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