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Local mayors proclaim week of no violence

The YWCA's ninth annual Week Without Violence started with a four-mayor proclamation Monday and will continue all week. Mayors Bruce Furness of Fargo, Mark Voxland of Moorhead, Keith Coalwell of Dilworth and Rich Mattern of West Fargo read the pr...

The YWCA's ninth annual Week Without Violence started with a four-mayor proclamation Monday and will continue all week.

Mayors Bruce Furness of Fargo, Mark Voxland of Moorhead, Keith Coalwell of Dilworth and Rich Mattern of West Fargo read the proclamation asking people to avoid violence for seven days.

The proclamation also included unveiling displays in Moorhead's Center Mall depicting the number of local victims of violence last year.

In one display, several red-painted shoes are stacked to show the number of local women victims in 2002 of domestic and sexual violence, according to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead.

That display says 2,066 women were counseled for such crimes. Another display puts the number of children at 480 for domestic and sexual violence.

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"It's all about power," YWCA Shelter Director Lynn Holzer said of abusers. "It has everything to do about control over someone."

Since Jan. 1, 407 women and 255 children have sought safety at the YWCA's shelter, 355 6th Ave. S. in Fargo. Fifty-three percent of these people reported being the victims of previous violence.

"Typically, we began our day with reports of violence, worldwide violence, violence in our states and local violence," Moorhead Police Chief Grant Weyland said of violence in general. "A week without violence, wouldn't that be incredible?"

Besides the event in the Center Mall, school girls plan to show the impact of violence through a flag project.

Other events this week:

- "Bullying," noon to 1 p.m. today, Minnesota State University Moorhead; 3 p.m. today, flag project starts at schools in Dilworth and Moorhead.

- "Is Domestic Violence Really a Problem in Fargo-Moorhead?" noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, North Dakota State University Student Union.

- "Hate Crimes and Eliminating Racism," noon to 1 p.m. Friday in Concordia College's Bishop Whipple Room 224.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Michael Benedict at (701) 241-5557

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