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Pelican Rapids shooting victim to push for tougher punishment for domestic violence laws

Thip Prathane says the way the legal system is set up now leads to deadly outcomes.

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Thip Prathane talks outside the Otter Tail County Courthouse on Monday, June 13, 2022.
Matt Henson / WDAY News
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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — The hard part is over, and the positive part begins. That's the feeling from 32-year-old Thip Prathane, who survived after her ex-boyfriend hunted her down and shot her three times in the pelvis area.

She said the toughest part was to accept love and support from her family.

"I opened my heart and my mind for my children and finally realized that that was not a healthy place for them to be and grow up," she explained.

At the time of the shooting, she had a protection order against her longtime boyfriend, 36-year-old Phoutthasa Prathane. An order that he had violated before. She wants to address this issue with lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz, saying violating them has very little repercussions.

"See that this person needs another a chance, and with that other chance, it could be the worst chance they could get," said Prathane.

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Related: Northwest Minnesota man sentenced for shooting mother of his children

The mother of seven is also upset with the plea deal for 15 years that was based on state guidelines. It was brought up in court that it may not be enough time for her ex-boyfriend to get the help he needs. She wants tougher punishments for those with violent backgrounds.

"If they are not aware of all the findings or all the background, it's just another slap on the wrist so they can violate again or possibly have fatal outcomes," explained Prathane.

While that will take time, she is already paying it forward, raising $500 by selling t-shirts to raise money for organizations in Lakes Country that help victims of domestic violence — both women and men.

She hopes she can take her first steps during a domestic violence awareness walk in two months, steps for change at the statehouse.

"Love can be very blinding, but just know that you are important too and (...) your kids are important, and they need to grow up in a healthy environment, in a loving environment."

The Rally for Team Thip will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21, in Pelican Rapids at VFW Post 5252.

Events of the day:

  • 11:30 a.m. will kick off the walk for domestic violence awareness, which starts at Chauncey Martin Field and ends at the VFW
  • Kid event from 1-2 p.m. with special guests, games and treats
  • Benefit will be at the Pelican Rapids VFW from noon-3 p.m.; there will be raffle tickets, silent auction items and donations to 'Fill the Bins' for local area domestic violence shelters
  • A benefit account is set up at Bell Bank under Prathane Family Benefit for those who wish to donate that way
Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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