Being safe at home
With more people at home, we want to remind our residents that Shakopee police officers are available 24/7 to assist anyone who feels unsafe due to domestic violence or who have been physically assaulted. During times of increased “stay at home” situations, our department often experiences an increase in domestic violence calls.
Even with the courthouse closure, domestic violence victims can pursue civil Orders for Protection (OFP) online at www.mncourts.gov/Help-Topics/Domestic-Abuse-and-Harassment.aspx. The petition form can be submitted online or sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at the Scott County Judicial Center drop box using the Fifth Avenue entrance. A judge or court staff will contact you about your request. Hearings related to OFPs continue to be held.
Advocates can provide safety planning, guidance on finding a safe shelter, assistance/information about applying for an Order for Protection, emotional support, financial and food resources and more.
- Southern Valley Alliance advocates remain available to communicate with domestic violence victims via phone, email and virtual support groups. See svabw.org or call them at 952-873-4214.
- The Minnesota Crime Victim Support Line is available at 866-385-2699 or text 612-399-9977 or Day One Crisis Line and shelter locator at 1-866-223-1111.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open for calls and chats in more than 200 languages at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Its website is www.thehotline.org/help.
Whenever possible, people should take additional precautions to remain safe in their own homes:
- Develop ways to communicate with your partner when you need some time/space or increase your distancing such as staying in different rooms or taking a walk outside. Take children with you if concerned about their safety.
- Limit your alcohol and/or drug consumption. If your partner is using, create ways to safeguard yourself, your children and your pets if your partner becomes agitated, angry or violent.
- If an argument develops, move to a space that is lower risk such as near an outside door. Try to avoid bathrooms, kitchen or near weapons, including knives. Ammo should be kept separated.
- Regularly communicate with a trusted friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker. Create a code word or action to indicated when you need help and when the police should be called.
- Instruct others in the home, including children, on when and how to call 911.
- Keep a set of car keys and a charged cell phone in a secure place in case you have to leave or to call someone in an emergency. (Any charged cell phone can be used to call 911 even without service.)
- If able to reach a vehicle, remain in your locked car to call 911 and provide your current location.
- If being followed in a car, drive to the nearest open gas station or business – especially ones that have exterior surveillance and lighting to contact the police or drive to the police station to meet with an officer after calling 911.
For more information about crime victims’ rights or domestic violence options, contact our crime victim coordinator at 952-233-9467 or visit the city website at www.shakopeemn.gov/public-safety/police-department/crime-victim-services.