Charting the Course



A group of concerned citizens formed the Anoka County Task Force for Battered Women (ACT).

The Probable Cause Arrest Act became law in MN, permitting warrantless arrest of abusers.

In MN, information related to the personal history of battered women using shelters was classified as private data.

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW) was founded.

The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault was formed.

How It All Began... The concept for forming the Anoka County Task Force for Battered Women came out of a six week series of workshops led by the Social Concerns Committee of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, in early 1976. During one of these meetings, Lexi Selvig heard Jeff Janacek, a Columbia Heights Police Officer, speak about the number of women and families he witnessed in Anoka County struggling to leave their abusers. Upon learning that there were women and children who were not safe in their own homes, she decided she had to do something about it. Mary Zagaros, another attendee of these meetings, readily volunteered to help. Lexi and Mary reached out to Margaret Langfeld, who was on the Blaine City Council at that time, to be a member of the group. This small group, with Lexi as the lead, started by writing letters to local community and women’s groups, asking them to get involved. One of the letters went to the Jaycees of Blaine, where Sharon (Coleman) Lawrence was a member. She was intrigued and agreed to join forces with Lexi, Mary, and Margaret. In the early days, the women of the Anoka County Task Force for BatteredWomen would huddle around Lexi’s kitchen table, where they discussed the mission, purpose, and vision for the newly formed group. Much of the philosophy that the organizationwas originally built uponwas gleaned from two books in particular: BatteredWives by Del Martin and Codependent NoMore by Melody Beattie. Later, the Task Force was able to obtain office space at the Spring Lake Park City Hall.



1) Incorporation Certificate, August 2, 1977. 2) Logo for the Anoka County Task Force for Battered Women, used until 1980.


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