Record year in Wisconsin - shame shame


Just got this press release from the Wisconsin Coalition on Domestic Violence...

Not a record to be proud of, that's for sure........

One would think with all the awareness that there is out there somehow more emphasis would be placed on prevention and resources for victims....however...not the case..those programs and the funding for them tend to be near the top of budget cuts....

Saddest thing about this is we as a society will be paying a larger price now for generations ....DV is a crime that keeps on paying..hurting....and can be felt for years beyond the abuser's life......

2009 Record Year for Domestic Violence Homicides in Wisconsin

Spike in Domestic Violence Killings Comes Despite Falling Violent Crime Rate

For Immediate Release: January 6, 2010

Contact: Tony Gibart, Policy Coordinator, WCADV at 608-255-0539 ext. 310

Madison - The number of domestic violence homicides in Wisconsin in 2009 will far outpace 2008 and may constitute a 10-year high. Even as national and local reports show a decrease in violent crime and homicides in 2009, the domestic violence homicide rate in Wisconsin grew.

There were 36 domestic violence homicides in 2008. Preliminary data indicate that there were at least 46 domestic violence incidents resulting in 59 deaths in 2009. In addition, although statewide data for 2009 are not yet available, local domestic abuse victim programs report unprecedented numbers of requests from victims desperately seeking shelter and other services.

General crime statistics contrast the domestic violence trend. Localities in Wisconsin report decreased violent crime in 2009. Milwaukee saw homicides at a 20-year low and violent crime on pace to be down 18 percent. The FBI recently released a report showing a 10 percent drop in homicides and a 4.4 percent dip in violent crimes nationally through the first part of 2009.

Victim advocates say that while the divergence between domestic violence rates and general crime statistics is alarming, it is not surprising given recent economic conditions and the uniqueness of domestic abuse when compared to other crimes.

“While economic turmoil doesn't drive abusers to use violence, financial insecurity prevents victims from leaving abusive homes, meaning the violence continues and escalates,” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV).

Experts in criminology attribute falling crime rates in part to sophisticated policing methods. But, victim advocates stress that law enforcement strategies that target particular neighborhoods or gang activity do little to prevent domestic violence.

“Unlike other violent crimes, domestic violence typically does not occur out in the streets or in particular locations,” said Seger. “Many law enforcement agencies have stepped up their efforts to address domestic violence, but prevention really requires a community-wide effort to ensure that no one suffers silently in their own home.

“We have to see domestic violence as an epidemic. In 2009 in Wisconsin, at least one person died because of domestic violence almost every week of the year,” said Seger. “These were not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern that can only be stopped with systematic responses that provide victims with resources for escape and protection, hold batters accountable and ultimately change the attitudes that permit abusers to use violence to control and demean their victims.”

WCADV will release the annual Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report for 2009 later this year. The report will contain final statistics and analysis of the killings that took place in 2009. The 2008 report is available at: http://www.wcadv.org/?go=download&id=1179.

###

Tony Gibart

Policy Coordinator

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence

307 S. Paterson St. #1

Madison, WI 53703

Phone: (608) 255-0539 ext. 310
Fax/TTY: (608) 255-3560

Comments

GCardinal said…
Amazing. I see that you're from Wisconsin, which is why you'd be interested in that state specifically, but as someone living down south, I'm wondering if this is a national trend. I suspect it is, and that it's tied to the economic situation, but not necessarily because of the deprivation of funding to prevention programs, as you mentioned.

I agree with your sentiment, though - we should be talking about domestic violence prevention, not just treating people after the fact (although that's obviously important, too). There's a lady on Oprah.com right now who has kind of changed my perspective on all of this. She talks about the 'Indicators of an Abuser,' which I think everybody should learn in high school. They teach individuals (not 'girls,' but everybody) how to recognize patterns in others (or in themselves) that might betray abusive tendencies. A good idea.
Eva Marie said…
I do believe it's a sign of the times, and is a problem throughout this country...however that being said, this is also not the time to start cutting the programs, and funding assitance to services that would help to provide relief -
additionally there's no real oversight on who gets what funding, and how they utilize it - while there are many great advocacy programs out there, there are just as many who've lost focus on the client..the victim..and diverted their focus into other areas that "look good" on paper so they can still get funding...

Gee I hope that makes sense...

But DV is something that needs not just lip service from those in power, but an actual understanding on how it touches everything from the disconnected justice system...to problems at school for kids growing up in it -

Teaching the general public to look for the red flags of a toxic personality is great, but at the same time those toxic people don't disappear, and will end up in a relationship somewhere...we need more services that will address the overdue treatment they need as well...

ok...that was long winded on my part...thanks for your comments