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This year, we hope you'll consider adopting a Breaking Free family to give gifts this holiday season to the women we serve and their families.

Whether you're celebrating a blessed year by paying it forward, trying to rally your faith community around a cause that really matters, or teaching your children about true generosity, Adopt-a-Family is a great opportunity to make a difference right in your backyard.

E-mail Aliyah Carter at acarter@breakingfree.net to Adopt-a-Family today!

MNCASA Call to Action

Sexual violence is not normally a partisan issue but this year the personal became political in ways that challenged us, as a nonprofit organization, with how best to respond to the trauma experienced by sexual assault survivors. Advocacy programs received increased crisis calls and survivors re-lived their own assaults. These moments are when we rely on the source of our strength and purpose – MNCASA members who make a difference in survivor lives every single day.

We resolve to work even harder on your behalf as new challenges head our way. Oppression and injustice are familiar issues to all of us who work to end sexual violence. Still, many of us are afraid of what is to come. Anger and sadness are also common responses. Family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors are at risk in all aspects of their lives, just for being who they are.  Being an ally in word alone, without action, is simply not enough.

We are a coalition for all survivors of sexual violence, no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, age, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, faith or political party. We will protect access to services, remain survivor-centered, promote culturally specific responses, confront policies that further oppression in all venues, engage in hard conversations across dividing lines, and continue to establish prevention as a Minnesota priority. And we will support survivors who share their stories in hopes of letting others know that they are not alone.

During this time, we call for more communication. In particular, we ask members to meet with elected officials in local, state and national government. Talk to them about what the survivors in your community need most and seek their commitment to actively respond to sexual violence policy issues. Make sure that they understand the connections between sexual violence and other forms of oppression. We will issue our 2017 legislative action agenda in December along with talking points to further the conversations and there will be opportunities for all of us to unite in the coming months. 

With adversity comes opportunity. While the conversations have been difficult we also welcome the broader national dialogue about sexual violence and intersectional issues. We pledge to play a role in these conversations – as leader or listener – and to take action when human rights are under attack. We ask our members to do the same.

There are tough times ahead so take time to reflect, talk to your colleagues and peers, breathe and seek support when you need it. Contact us when you need help. And thank you again for everything that you do.

Sent on behalf of MNCASA Staff




  • Are you working with a college or university campus to provide advocacy services, resources, or support? MNCASA is hoping to find out what experiences our members are having with campus sexual assault response and prevention. Please click here to take a brief survey!
  • Victim-Services Public Policy Subcommittee: MNCASA has a large public policy committee that represents three areas: access to justice, victim/survivor services, and prevention. We are looking for individuals to join the Victim-Services subcommittee. If you’re interested in joining, please email us for more information.
  • Annual Symposium Subcommittee: It’s not too late to join in on the planning for MNCASA’s Annual Symposium! The 2017 Annual Symposium will be held in August, and we would welcome your input. If you’re interested in joining, please email us for more information.
  • Request for information on upcoming 40hr trainings: Did you know MNCASA has a website page dedicated to upcoming 40hr Sexual Assault Advocacy Trainings?  If you have a training coming up and it is not located on our website, please send us a flyer of your schedule or website with this information and we will be happy to support your training by posting it on the website.



Professional Development Training, Webinars, and Conferences


Resources and Information

  • SPECIAL ALERT from Terri Poore, Policy Director for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence: Appropriations Alert | November 17, 2016 | The House has indicated they favor another continuing resolution until March when the new Administration is in place. Senate leadership now appears to be leaning that way as well. We need to let the Senate know we're watching, and we want them to finish their work! Forward this message to programs and activists and then call both of your senators right now with this message: "We urge you to finish your work on the budget and pass an omnibus appropriations bill for 2017. Survivors need services and communities need sexual assault prevention. Do not pass a longer term continuing resolution."
  • MNCASA’s Prevention Team maintains a blog about prevention! If you are looking for a place to direct people on prevention materials this is a great resource, as it contains all of the write-ups from the prevention list serve in one place. We also have resources up on the prevention portion of the website. Here’s the link if you want to check out the blog: http://mncasa.org/prevention-blog

  • What Nonprofits Can Say to Influence the Transition to a New Administration – And What They Can’t

  • New Report: Intersections of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault

  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 2-8, 2017 Resources

  • NSVRC 2017 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Theme: Engaging New Voices

  • HUD announced release of the final rule governing implementation of the housing provisions of VAWA 2013. Please find HUD's press release and a link to the final rule.
  • Staying Safe: Tips for LGBTQ Youth for How to Protect Yourself and Your Community from Human Trafficking

  • Be Counted! The first phase of the National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP) is now underway. This Census will provide the first comprehensive national picture of the existing response system for victims/survivors of crime and abuse. It will help inform funders, policymakers, federal agencies, and others. We need ALL parts of the victim/survivor response network to participate. When the survey comes to your program, please take part! For more information, visit the NCVSP website. There you’ll find a recorded webinar, list of supporters, FAQ, and more. *If you haven’t received an invitation, you can still contact NCVSP to be added to the list!
  • FORGE, a national transgender anti-violence organization that serves as a training and technical assistance provider for the Office on Violence Against Women, would like to invite you to be part of a national effort to improve shelter and housing services for transgender and gender non-binary survivors of domestic violence and other intimate crimes. As part of this effort, we are conducting a National Baseline Assessment of Shelters on Serving Transgender Survivors. We are seeking responses from a wide range of agencies who provide emergency shelter and temporary or transitional housing to individuals/families who have experienced domestic violence, intimate partner violence, partner abuse, or other intimate crimes. You can take the survey here or click here to learn more!  

What's New

Watch Vednita Cater's TED talk below!

Vednita Carter, Founder and President of Breaking Free, shares a powerful message in this TED talk presented at TEDxMinneapolis in July 2015. Carter begins by telling her own story of survival as a high school graduate trafficked in a strip club in Minneapolis. She explains how she got out of the Life and went on to found Breaking Free in October 1996 as a place for women to find safety and refuge. "No woman, no girl, no one deserves to be bought and sold," she declares in her talk. "This is no one's destiny-no one's." 

Upcoming Events

Christmas Party -December 10th
Client Graduation -December 20th

Breaking Free was established in October 1996, by Vednita Carter, Founder and President, as a non-profit organization serving women involved in systems of abuse, exploitation, and prostitution/sex trafficking.Phone: 651-645-6557
Address: P.O. Box 4366, St. Paul, MN 55104