Blaine car show to raise awareness about relationship violence

Fans of classic and antique cars, trucks, and motorcycles are invited to attend the Bumpers to Bikes Car Show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

The show will feature an autocross competition throughout the day as well as a bicycle building activity with volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Attendance is free but tax-deductible donations are accepted.

Members of the Anoka County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Action Team will select the top three vehicles to receive a prize. In addition, prizes will be awarded to the crowd favorite and to the driver with the fastest autocross time.

The purpose of the event is to promote awareness and prevention of violence against women, including domestic, sexual and dating violence, according to Anoka County Commissioner Carol LeDoux, who serves on the county’s Sexual Assault Action Team.

“Too often, this is viewed as a women’s issue,” LeDoux said. “The car show is a great opportunity to reach men and boys and have a discussion about violence against women as a community problem.

“We need to emphasize that the perpetuation of domestic violence is a choice and that everyone deserves to be safe and treated equally and with respect.”

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. An estimated 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year, but most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

“Our mission in bringing this event to the community is to highlight and reduce the stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual abuse,” said Eric McClellan, supervisor of the Domestic Abuse Program at the Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being and a member of both the Domestic Violence Council of Anoka County and the Sexual Assault Action Team of Anoka County.

The Bumpers to Bikes Car Show is sponsored by the Domestic Violence Council of Anoka County, the Sexual Assault Action Team of Anoka County, Allina Health, TPIS Trophies of Chaska, Morrie’s Auto Group and the Land O’ Lakes Autocross Team.

Both the Domestic Violence Council and the Sexual Assault Action Team are open to members of the public. The Domestic Violence Council meets the first Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, 13301 Hanson Blvd N.W. in Andover. The Sexual Assault Action Team meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Lee Carlson Center (Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Programs), Anoka County Blaine Human Service Building, 1201 89th Ave. N.E., Suite 380, Blaine.

For more information go to violencefreeanokacounty.org or call 763-422-7047.

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