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Taking A Stand Against Domestic Violence Vigil

Twenty-one vigil candles -- each one representing a victim killed in a domestic violence incident in 2016 in Minnesota -- were lit Tuesday night and released into the Mississippi River at Kiwanis Park in Brainerd. Of the 21 victims killed, 18 were women, two were children and one was a man. Victims were as young as 10-year-old Nahily Ronquillo to as old as 85-year-old Beverly Miller. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and each year, the Mid-Minnesota Women's Center in Brainerd hosts the floating candle vigil to remember those killed in a domestic violence incident. Shannon Wussow, executive director of the women’s center, said hosting the domestic violence awareness event is important in keeping the issue at the forefront for the community. “One of the biggest things in keeping our community safe and healthy is making sure problems like this are addressed,” Wussow said. During the event, law enforcement officials -- Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston, Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted, Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin, Lt. Kevin Randolph with the Crosby Police Department and Capt. Scott Goddard with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office -- helped read each of the names and spoke about domestic violence in front of about 50 people who came to support the fallen.