ROCHESTER, Minn. - The horrific murders of 23-year-old Keona Foote and her 2-year-old daughter over the weekend are just one of several shocking incidents Olmsted County Victim Services says its responded to over the last week. Because of people spending more time at home, struggling with uncertainties of financial stress and unemployment, the pandemic seems to be causing more people to snap.
"I don't say this lightly: We are honestly very concerned at the level of violence we are seeing in the community. We're all aware of the triple homicide tragically that occurred this past Sunday, the details of which are truly horrific. I truly wish I could say that that's an anomaly, but it's not," says Laura Sutherland, J.D., program manager of Olmsted County Victim Services.
Contacting victim services or the women's shelter are just two of several ways people can get help locally. There's a 24-hour crisis line at 507 285-1010. You can also contact your abuser's parol officer, and use a resource called Vine to be notified when someone is released from prison.
If your life is in immediate danger, always call 911.
Sutherland recognizes it may take many attempts for a person to leave an abuser for good, but every attempt is that person garnering their strengths and supports. Every call is an act of courage, not one of shame. "If they've called us once on the hotline if they've called us twice, or five times, each and every time we are glad that they have simply had the courage to make that call again. There is no judgment, only affirmation," she says.