‘We’re still here’

CADA offers free, confidential advocacy for victims of domestic abuse

Staff photo by Fritz Busch The Committee Against Domestic Abuse advocates from left, Hannah Hassler of Mankato and Arianna Martinez of New Ulm greet open house visitors Thursday. CADA Executive Director Jason Mack is pictured at right at the new office located at 5 Minnesota St. N.

NEW ULM — The Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) hosted an open house Thursday at its new office at 5 Minnesota Street North to “let people know we’re still here.”

A non-profit organization with totally free, confidential services for victims and survivors of relationship abuse and sexual violence throughout south-central Minnesota, CADA operates three main programs — an emergency shelter for women and children, regional community advocacy and supervised parenting time and exchanges.

“We had the open house to let people know that we’re still here and at a new location, (just across the street from its former office),” said Mack, who has been with CADA for eight years. The New Ulm CADA office serves Brown and Sibley Counties. CADA Executive Director Jason Mack oversees all seven CADA offices in a nine-county region.

“We serve a couple hundred people a year. It’s a challenge, but we’re here to serve people with advocacy, helping people with protection services,” said Mack.

“We work with law enforcement and county attorneys offices,” he added.

Minnesota victim service programs asked for $25 million out of the state’s $68 billion budget, but only got $16 million from the Legislature this year. Most of the new funding will help cover an $11 million federal fund loss.

“Due to funding cuts, we can’t offer all the preventative services we used to, but we still offer resources including the Mankato shelter,” Mack said.

CADA offers community education on topics and issues related to domestic and sexual violence in Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan Counties.

Offices are located in New Ulm, Blue Earth, Fairmont, Mankato, St. James, St. Peter and Waseca.

Domestic violence is a problem that impacts thousands of people in our community every year.

“The more people are aware of the realities and red flags of domestic violence and relationship abuse, the less stigma there is for victims who need help,” said Mack.

“CADA makes our communities safer by helping victims and survivors access critical services like shelter, safety planning, support groups and more,” Mack said.

“I would like victims and survivors to know that there are people out there who care about you and who will support you. You don’t have to go through this experience by yourself,” said a CADA advocate.

Other CADA services include 24-hour advocacy, interpreters or bilingual advocacy, emotional support, safety planning, assistance with restraining others and with civil or criminal court matters, help with basic needs including food and therapy.

CADA hosts online domestic support via Zoom during the day and evenings on Tuesdays. Topics include trauma healing, self-care techniques and practices, understanding power and control and abusive relationship red flags. Group sessions are held for six weeks, alternating between daytime and evening.

Individuals interested in attending group sessions can fill out a form on CADA’s website: https://www.cadamn.org/support-groups. For more information, call Hannah at 507-625-8688 ext. 113.

Keep Me Safe Supervised Parenting Time & Exchange Centers are safe, nurturing places children can visit with their non-custodial parents. In addition, parents can exchange children for parenting time without fear of witnesses or experiences conflict or violence.

New Ulm CADA office hours at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For Brown and Sibley County advocates, call 507-233-6663. For 24-hour help, call 1-800-477-0466. Visit www.cadamn.org to chat with an advocate. Call 507-223-4200 to text an advocate.


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