Domestic Violence Victim Advocates Reflect on Women’s Equality Day

This Sunday, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day, the day women were guaranteed the right to vote through passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Advocates for victims of domestic violence say the day is an appropriate time to consider both the progress made towards ending violence against women and the fact this social problem continues to seriously impact the lives of women and girls.

“In the span of a few generations, we have made remarkable strides towards the goal of women’s equality,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). “It’s amazing to think women alive today were born at a time when their mothers’ did not have the right to vote. While the progress is significant, we still live in an unequal society, and violence against women remains both a source and reflection of that underlying inequality.”

While domestic violence affects both women and men, women are overwhelmingly the victims of violence in intimate partner relationships. Women are four times more likely than men to be beaten, six times more likely to be slammed against something and nine times more likely to be strangled or suffocated by an intimate partner. A woman is much more likely to be the victim of a domestic violence homicide than a man. Sexual violence and stalking are also crimes that are largely directed at women.

“The drive for women’s full equality requires that we continue to work for a world in which all young people—but especially our daughters—do not need to be worried about being abused by someone who claims to love them, a world in which women do not give a second thought for their safety when on a date, at a party or out alone at night,” continued Seger.       

Seger says there are tangible steps our leaders can take to achieve this goal.

“Like the broader movement for women’s equality, the anti-violence against women movement has taken huge steps forward, but similarly, there also continue to be setbacks. Eighteen years after its original passage, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is stuck in Congress.  Quickly passing a VAWA reauthorization that protects all victims would be an important achievement and put us back on track to eliminating gender-based violence in America,” Seger concluded.

Selected Resources

Voting Guide for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With the passage of the Wisconsin photo ID voting law, there is a lot of confusion about who can vote and how they can vote.  The guide explains how survivors can register to vote and ensure they have the proper documentation to vote.   In this volatile political climate and budgetary climate, we need survivors’ voices and participation at the ballot box now more than ever.   

Hope. Vision. Future. A Plan for Providing Services to Domestic Violence Victims in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has created a long-range plan for serving Domestic Abuse victims. This document includes an overview of Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Programs, including statistics, services, populations served, and a financial picture. Recommendations address the issues of Economic Justice, Financial Self- Sufficiency, Housing, Legal assistance and Primary Prevention.

2011-2012 Legislative Agenda
WCADV and WCASA Milwaukee Sick Pay Brief

Domestic and sexual violence take a tremendous toll on public health and safety in Milwaukee. This brief, filed by WCADV and WCASA, supports the Milwaukee Paid Sick Days Ordinance which permits victims paid leave to obtain services from these organizations.

2013-2014 Legislative Agenda
Changes to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance for DV Victims - Dec 2009

WCADV Policy Development Coordinator, Tony Gibart, offers the following summary of how Wisconsin unemployment statutes have changed in response to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

DCF Brochure about Domestic Violence and W-2

This brochure from the Department of Children and Families explains some of the resources and protections available to W-2 participants who are or were victims of domestic violence.  It is to be given to all W-2 applicants and participants. Hmong and Spanish versions are also available. 

Fact Sheets Related to Brookfield Shooting

These two fact sheets cover topics that were implicated by the shootings at a Brookfield, Wisconsin salon on Sunday, October 21, 2012.  They address (1) domestic violence and the workplace and (2) restraining orders and firearm surrender.