Collaborative Community Change Work
In February, CADA joined with Moving Our Futures Forward, Ignite the Youth, Greater Mankato Diversity Council, and the Minnesota Hip-Hop Coalition to facilitate three community trainings on active interruption or bystander intervention. These conversations focused on how to intervene when experiencing or witnessing problematic behavior such as microaggressions, sexism, racism, homophobia, or ableism. 

Growing a healthy and safe community is an important factor in preventing all forms of violence including domestic violence, sexual violence, and bullying. At CADA, much of our work is supporting survivors after abuse. We know that violence can thrive in inequitable environments and we are committed to helping create communities where violence, harassment, and assault are not supported or tolerated. This is why we also work to prevent violence from happening in the first place. Much of CADA’s violence prevention work happens at a community level, because we know that communities and social norms impact individual behavior. If we want to create safe and protective environments, we must work with the community as a whole where improvements are needed.  


We hope you will join us on Wednesday, April 28th for a virtual open house. Because of COVID, we can't open our doors for a tour or an in-person meet-and-greet, but we can gather virtually! 

At this virtual event, you'll get to hear about how CADA adapted to COVID, take a virtual tour of our shelter, Keep Me Safe centers, and community offices, and meet some of our staff and advocates. You'll also get a sneak peek at CADA's new logo! 

Stay tuned and keep an eye on CADA's Facebook page for more details in the near future. 

Seeking Board Members
CADA is seeking applicants for our Board of Directors!

If you are passionate about supporting survivors and violence free communities and want to be involved with CADA’s work, consider applying to serve on the Board.

We have several board members who will complete their terms in September. Board terms are two years with the option of being elected for three consecutive terms. Board meetings are held once a month (for 1.5 hours) with committees meeting once a month.  

We are seeking board members with experiences that can inform and support CADA’s mission and values. BIPOC and those with diverse life experiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to email our Executive Director and learn more. 

Connecting Through Empathy

At CADA, we consider empathy to be an extremely important skill for advocates and staff. When working with people who have experienced violence or trauma, empathy is crucial. Empathy is the ability to understand and share someone’s feelings. It is a necessary skill in helping professions such as advocacy, teaching, and healthcare. Empathy is an important skill for everyone to develop, not just professionally, but personally. Empathy helps us connect with people, helps us manage our own emotions, and promotes helping behaviors. Additionally, a lack of empathy can lead to things like victim blaming, dehumanization, prejudice, and disconnection– which all fuel divisiveness, oppression, and abuse in our homes and communities. 

Many of us have heard the words sympathy and empathy used interchangeably, but these two concepts are actually very different in practice.  Sympathy is the act of feeling sorry or caring about someone’s challenges or suffering. Empathy takes this a step further. Empathy is connecting with that person and their emotions and feeling those emotions with them. Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding. Sympathy allows us to say, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” Empathy sounds more like, “I understand that feeling and I’m here with you.” Empathy is recognizing what someone is feeling and connecting with them by feeling that emotion yourself.

When you tell someone about a problem or a challenge and they respond with sympathy, it may feel dismissive or trivializing. A sympathetic response can sometimes sound like pity. Also, a sympathetic response may include the words, “at least.” For example, if someone shares they just lost their job, a sympathetic response might sound like, “Oh I’m sorry, but least you’ve still got your health!” An empathetic response may sound like, “Wow, that has to be so tough. Do you want to talk about it?” Brené Brown, a researcher, scholar, and teacher of topics like empathy, bravery, and vulnerability says, “Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.” Rarely does a sympathetic response lead to further discussion or connection.

When we practice empathy, we are able to see the perspective of people who may be different from us. We can focus on commonalities rather than differences. Through empathy, we can foster connection rather than division. If we all practice a little more empathy, our neighborhoods and communities can be safer, friendlier, and more welcoming for all.

To read this full article, check out this month's issue of River Valley Woman. 

We want to continue to update you on CADA's services as we continue to live and work through a global pandemic. 

Advocacy Services:
Advocates throughout CADA's nine-county service area continue to offer phone or video meetings with victims and survivors. If it is not safe to meet by phone, advocates can meet with individuals in-person while practicing health and safety precautions. 


Shelter remains open to those seeking safety from violence and abuse. Advocates and residents are taking precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. 

Keep Me Safe Supervised Parenting Time and Exchange Centers:
In-person Keep Me Safe supervised visits and exchanges have resumed. To schedule a visit or exchange, please contact us at 507-625-8688 ext. 115 or email 

Education and Groups:
CADA is offering virtual support groups rather than in-person groups for victims and survivors. We have resumed in-person Southern Minnesota Offender Education Groups with limited class sizes. 

Follow CADA to stay up-to-date!

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CADA Offices

24-hour Crisis Line: 1-800-477-0466
Blue Earth County: 507-625-8688
Brown County: 507-233-6663
Faribault County: 507-526-5275
Le Sueur County: 507-934-5583
Martin County: 507-399-2001
Nicollet County: 507-934-5583
Sibley County: 507-233-6666
Waseca County: 507-835-7828
Watonwan County: 507-375-3040