Members of AFSCME – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – delivered vans full of donations to Duluth’s Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center as part of the union’s annual convention.
More than 700 union members gathered for AFSCME Council 5’s convention Oct. 5 – 7 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Prior to arriving, they collected personal hygiene items, linens, gift cards, kid’s toys and little luxuries like cosmetics and chocolates. They assembled “care packages” for women and children who escape from domestic abuse, often with no personal belongings.
The contributions were then taken to Safe Haven, whose employees are AFSCME members who provide life-saving services for victims of domestic violence.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
- One in three women in Minnesota will be subjected to physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Every 15 seconds a woman is battered in the United States.
- A total of 1,876 victims and survivors were assisted by Safe Haven in 2016.
- Safe Haven, started in 1978, was one of the very first battered women’s shelters in the United States. Since then it has grown into a 39-bed facility that houses a hotline as well as community education, legal advocacy and volunteer programs. Their mission is to provide safety, space to heal, and empowerment for women, children and all survivors of domestic abuse.
- Jennifer Jones, a former shelter resident, says “I believe I would have died if I could not go to you, so thank you for saving me and my children.”
AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working people.