Domestic violence is as insidious as it is common and its impact on our world as a whole is stunning. The economic and psychological damage inflicted on its victims has far-reaching effects beyond personal experiences suffered.

The repercussions of this behavior can ripple throughout society over generations. You may have heard the sayings, "violence begets violence" or "the abused becomes the abuser". The sad truth is that many victims of domestic violence will perpetuate that cycle.

Here in South Dakota, one in 3 women, and one in 4 men, will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Every year over 8 million children are exposed to it. As I was when I was a child. But there are ways to combat it and create change, because no one should have to live in fear, especially in their own home.

Children's Inn here in Sioux Falls has made this their mission since they opened in 1977 as one of the first crisis shelters in the country. Last year they helped almost 1,000 women and children in need of emergency shelter. They also provide counseling, advocacy, and support, all free of charge.

This is where you and I come in. I am proud to support the 2nd Annual Drive Out Violence campaign, fueled by Vern Eide Motorcars to benefit Children's Inn, and I invite you to join me.

We're having a Kick-Off Party this Friday, June 28, from 11:30 AM to 2 PM in conjunction with KSFY's "Fridays on the Plaza" event (325 S. 1st Avenue, downtown).

We'll have live music from Too Drunk to Fish and giveaways from Vern Eide Motorcars. Of course, there will be food trucks with all kinds of goodies to tempt you and we'll share the numerous ways you can support the ambitious mission of Children's Inn.

One of the easiest things to do is, simply Text HOPE to 80100 to donate $5. It takes about a minute of your time and the cost of your morning coffee. But it can, and will, make a huge difference to people in the Sioux Falls area trying to rebuild their lives.

For more information please see Drive Out Domestic Violence online, Children's Inn online and on Facebook, #DriveOutDV on Twitter, or call 605-338-4880.

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