Grand Rapids Shooting Brings Attention to Domestic Violence Issues

By KBJR News 1

December 25, 2012 Updated Dec 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM CST

Grand Rapids, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Saturday's shooting in Grand Rapids brings to light the issue of domestic violence.

William Levi Payne, 26, was charged with eight felonies after authorities say he shot two people at a home off 10th avenue then kidnapped his wife, who was visiting the home at the time.
Payne's wife had filed an order for protection against him just four days before the shooting.

"No one certainly gets a protective order thinking that this sort of thing will happen," said Advocates for Family Peace Executive Director, Melissa Scaia, "When someone goes and gets a protective order, they're asking the community and the courts to intervene and to help.

Help is what Melissa Scaia and others at Advocates for Family Peace are hoping to provide. Just days after the shooting, the Grand Rapids based domestic violence prevention agency issued a statement, calling for an end to the violence that they say is reported every day in Itasca County.

"Domestic violence affects many, many people," said Scaia.

Which is why the imminent closure of Range Women's Advocates in Virginia could be devastating for families in need of their services.

"Our state funds for our basic crime victim's services have not been renewed," said RWA Executive Director, Pat Dunlavy, in an interview earlier this year about the agency's possible closing.

Funding issues will likely cause the RWA to close their doors, but Advocates for Family Peace say they're ready to open new ones.

"We're opening up a satellite office in Hibbing and so we'll be serving the area that previously Range Women's Advocates served," said Scaia.

When it comes to preventing domestic violence, Scaia says the entire community is needed to help.

"We'll help them in any way we can," she said.

Advocates for Family Peace say advocates are available 24–7, even during the holidays, to help any one in need of their services.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.