Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Remembering Barb Larson December 23, 2018

A mosaic on the exterior of the Faribault Chamber office honors employee Barb Larson, murdered there on December 23, 2016. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

I WISH I WASN’T WRITING this post. But I must. Today marks two years since Barb Larson was shot and killed by her ex-husband at the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office. Richard Larson then turned the gun on, and killed, himself.

 

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

This high-profile crime rocked my community. And raised awareness of domestic violence. Barb was a victim even before her death. A harassment restraining order was served on her ex the week he killed her. A piece of paper is just that, a piece of paper.

 

Inspirational and honoring words are embedded in the mosaic tile. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

The anniversary of Barb’s murder is a sobering reminder of domestic violence. But it is also a time to remember that we can all step up and do something about it. We can support, encourage and love those who are in abusive relationships. That includes all types of abuse, not just physical. We can direct them to professionals for help. In Faribault, HOPE Center offers help and hope. We can be there, listening. We can be a voice for victims. We can refuse to look the other way.

 

A portrait of Barb Larson by Faribault artist Dana Hanson. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

 

We can do this. For Barb. And for all the other Barbs who need us to care.

If you are in an abusive relationship and in immediate danger, call 911. Have a safety plan in place to leave your abuser. Please seek help. It is there. Locally or by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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6 Responses to “Remembering Barb Larson”

  1. Well done on such a horrific event. Awareness is key.

  2. Awareness is key. The Holidays can be strainful and stressful. Domestic, mental health, grief, loss of income, etc. I make room around my table for those who are away from family to join in and if they do not feel like joining in to include them by giving them a to go bag. We recently had a bad storm here and it is about helping each other clean up and put the holiday decorations back in place. Be aware and be kind – we all walk in our own shoes, however; it is nice to have someone walking next to you to support, listen, care . . . Take Care

  3. Two years already! You never know what goes on behind closed doors. People especially women are good at hiding their pain.


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