SAFE Act Passes Committee. Your Voice Needed to Keep Momentum

Unanimous Vote to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers. Legislators need to make this bill a priority for January session.

Call or Email Your Legislators Now

Since 2000, over 50 people in Wisconsin have been killed by domestic abusers who were legally prohibited from possessing a gun. Some of these abusers had domestic abuse restraining orders issued against them that specifically required them to surrender their guns. Yet, in many Wisconsin counties, no one verifies that abusers actually turn in their guns, which leaves victims at greater risk.

The SAFE Act would ensure that abusers who are banned under current law from possessing guns are asked about firearms they own or possess after they are subject to a restraining order. Abusers who have guns would be held accountable for complying with the law.

After hearing from police, victims and court officials at the public hearing, the Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously recommended the bill for passage.

Watch the video below to hear the testimony and learn more about the SAFE Act (trigger warning).

 

Please call or email your legislators and tell them to bring the SAFE Act (AB 464) for a vote in January. See below for talking points and a sample email

 

Talking Points        

  • "Hello, my name is ____ and I am a constituent, from [your town or city and program, if applicable]."
  • "I urge the Representative or Senator to work to bring the SAFE Act (AB 464) to a vote quickly.
  • The bi-partisan legislation creates a procedure so that the laws we already have to protect victims and prevent domestic violence homicides actually work.
  • A study found that victims felt safer with these procedures in place and that officials reported the procedures were not burdensome.

Sample Email

Dear Representative/Senator [Name]:

I am writing to urge you to work to bring the SAFE Act (AB 464) to a vote quickly.  My name is [Your Name] from [city and program, if applicable].

This SAFE Act (Stopping Abuse Fatalities through Enforcement) will help enforce current laws, which are intended to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Since 2000, over 50 people in Wisconsin have been shot and killed by domestic abusers who were legally prohibited from possessing a gun. 

The SAFE Act will not affect the rights of anyone who is currently allowed to possess a gun. The legislation only creates a procedure to ensure that the current relinquishment requirement is enforced as part of the restraining order process. These procedures have already been successfully piloted in four Wisconsin counties. A study found that victims felt safer with the procedures in place and that officials reported the procedures were not burdensome. 

Again, I urge you to work to pass this life-saving legislation.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Name, City]

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.