89 Domestic Violence Deaths in State in 2011 to 2012
Madison— End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (formerly the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence) released a report today documenting the domestic violence fatalities in Wisconsin for the years 2011 and 2012. The release comes one day before the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The group says it hopes the statistics and stories prompt more people to become more active in the effort to prevent abuse.
“Domestic violence is a matter of life and death,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “Over the last two years, we have seen so many tragedies. Some made national headlines, others received scant attention. We hope every story now compels us to do better as a state and nation.”
One section of the report highlights work in two Wisconsin communities to prevent domestic violence homicides.
“Through End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s Homicide Prevention Project, we are working with Jefferson and Outagamie counties to implement policies and practices that should save lives,” continued Seger. “In this report, and in previous years, we have seen that stalking, strangulation and gun violence are key indicators of very high risk for victims. The two counties have put this information into practice and are taking steps to address these risk factors.”
The report directly links stalking to several murder cases and estimates that stalking was a factor in more than half of the homicides
Report Backs up Gun Legislation
The report also notes that guns were the most common method of killing in both years covered by the report. Eight homicides were committed when an abuser illegally possessed a gun. A bill to improve enforcement of current gun restrictions on domestic abusers was introduced in the state legislature last week. Advocates say the bill would help achieve their goal of being able to include fewer names in the report in future years.
Help is Available
Studies have shown the vast majority of domestic violence homicide victims never sought help from a domestic abuse shelter or service provider.
“We want every victim who is currently in danger to know that help is available,” concluded Seger. “You are not alone, and you don’t have to live in fear forever. Services are available throughout Wisconsin, which truly save lives.”
Other data from the report include:
- Perpetrators of domestic violence homicides were overwhelmingly male. In 2011, 72% of perpetrators were male. In 2012, 86% of perpetrators were male.
- In 2012, a relatively high number of children were killed by their fathers or other adult male household member. This category accounts for close to one quarter of all domestic violence homicide victims in 2012.
- In 2012, about half of the homicides that were related to intimate partner violence occurred after the relationship ended or when one person was trying to leave the relationship. This fact demonstrates the separation is often the most dangerous time for a victim.
- Victims in the report reflected the span of life, from less than one-year-old to 84 years old.
- In 2011, homicides occurred in 12 separate counties. 21 counties are represented in the 2012 homicide listing.
The full report is available online at: http://bit.ly/DVReport2012 .