INVISIBLE BY DESIGN: A
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
is Domestic Violence Awareness month. At
KAXE/KBXE we wanted to do more than talk statistics
and phone numbers to call in crisis. We wanted
to understand WHY this happens and WHO it happens to
and what we as a community can do. Laura
Connelly from Advocates for Family Peace approached
us about a partnership in bringing what is invisible
to the public. As she explained it, these
violent relationships are designed to be kept
silent. Each week John Bauer and Heidi Holtan
recorded conversations with survivors of domestic
violence. To make what was once invisible
These survivors are brave to tell their
stories. Some of them are putting themselves
at risk again. We ask you to take the time to
listen to them and get involved.
Contact information for area
organizations that need help and can give help are
on the bottom of this page. Contact us at
by email to let us know what you think of our
This survivor gives us insight into why it isn't
easy to leave a violent relationship.
This survivor tells the story of mental abuse and
describes how her relationship made her almost a hostage for
six years under threat of death.
This survivor heard our series on KAXE/KBXE and felt
like he needed to tell his story of growing up with
an abusive father.
This survivor after 10 years of abuse, got a fresh
start on life with her young sons. The abuser
eventually took the lives of both boys.
This survivor received verbal and physical abuse
during pregnancy. After each instance there
was remorse and hope that abuser would change.
Downing Steve shared his comments and
observation of this program and it's impact on the
of interviews A summary of interviews with
Mid-Minn Women's Shelter Executive Director,
Tonya Helt, talks with Heidi and John about domestic
abuse and the service they provide in the Brainerd
for Family Safety An interview with Andrea Kingbird, Laura Straw, and
Heidi Hovis on domestic violence and what services
the organization provides.
for Family Peace
Laura Connelly is the director of programs for
in Grand Rapids and
Hibbing. She discusses domestic violence in Itasca
County and the various types of abuse that occur.
Dave of Squaw Lake sent in this comment:
This is such a powerful message that needs to
be heard. And there is no better station to take it
on, head first. I was on a country road when I heard
the first interview - WOW! I had to pull over
to the side of the road and listen to the younger
girl tell her story.
That was my story..... as seen through the
eyes of a child, growing up - seeing it first hand.
I had to call you after that...It's real and is
hidden by design. Kids
suffer the same or worse. I lived it over and over
into my adult life in my head. Thanks to Laura from
Advocates for Peace and to John & Heidi for
producing and listening to the very sad stories.
They are real !
We had this talkback to our first conversation
from Ellen of Grand Rapids:
driving to Duluth on Saturday morning, I listened to
John and Heidi interview a woman who lived in fear
in her own home and in her own skin. The
interview questions opened the door for her to just
say it. She was honest without condemning.
I heard her fear and disbelief around the how did I
get into this question that every single person who
is honest with themselves will ask themselves at
some point in their life.
It takes a lot of courage to talk about
domestic violence, let alone leave it. Fear is
a stronger motivator than love sometimes. When
fear is involved, we will not change until our pain
is greater than our fear.
I admire her courage and her honesty.
Very, very much. I respect her brother and
sister in law for taking the bull by the horns to
make her life and her girls lives better. They were
not complacent with her fear of staying â€“ they knew better.
I was blessed with the opportunity to work
with Don Streufert and his lovely wife Mary.
Pathways to Peace and Safety and The Center for
Reducing Rural Violence worked with communities to
address one issue that was most challenging and
difficult to effectively fix. All of the
communities with which I was involved chose domestic
violence â€“ one community chose gang violence, which
by nature is born out of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is complicated. Most
people who live it would rather deal with the
physical scars than the emotional scars. The
monster feeds on the humiliation. The
offenders do what they learn it is
intergenerational. They are generally scared little
people inside adult bodies facing expectations they
cannot possibly meet. That is complicated. I am by
no means excusing the behavior, it is my opinion.
I have learned is that is not okay to be
complacent. The price is too high.
BRAVO KAXE for stepping up to the plate and
becoming involved in the Invisible By Design monster
that plagues humanity.
Keep up the good work.
Additionally, we received
these comments on Facebook:
Carrie writes: They have
been great to hear, hard to hear, but incredible. It
would be interesting to know if any abusers have
recognized themselves in these stories. It is very
powerful to think that the general public is more
aware and thus more proactive when it comes to this
issue. Very sad to think about how it impacts
families in both visible and invisible ways.
Anything anyone can or does can make a difference.
Thanks for the series!
Gail writes: This has been an excellent series!
The relationships Heidi and John have built during
the interviews have brought out the intimate details
that make me cry for these women and children
Daniel writes: Very powerful, thanks for putting
it on. Most want to avoid difficult issues.
Brian writes: This is a remarkable series! Just
Brenda writes: This a.m. we only heard parts of
it, but what we did hear totally STOPPED us BOTH in
our tracks. Wow you guys. REALLY proud of KAXE.
sources for help with domestic violence:
for Family Peace Grand Rapids
Northwoods Coalition for Family Safety
Family Safety Network Walker
Mid Minn Women's Center Brainerd
Advocates Against Domestic Abuse Aitkin
Friends Against Abuse International Falls
Within Reach-Sexual Violence Resource Center
1325 4th St. NW
312 Minnesota Ave. N., Suite 2009
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Aitkin, MN 56431