Attorney General Josh Kaul today, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is reminding Wisconsinites of the resources available through the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) for survivors of domestic violence.
“Everyone should be safe from domestic violence,” said Attorney General Kaul. “We must continue working to prevent domestic violence and to ensure that support is available for all survivors.”
When one intimate partner strives to maintain power and control over the other partner, domestic violence occurs. This control-seeking behavior might manifest as verbal or emotional abuse, intimidation, isolation, economic abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or other forms of abuse. The trauma caused by these abusive behaviors can have a significant impact on survivors, sometimes being fatal.
In 2020, Wisconsin ranked 8th in the nation for the highest rate of females murdered by males, according to the Violence Policy Center. According to their study, When Men Murder Women, the homicide rate among females murdered by males in Wisconsin was 2.05 per 100,000 in 2020. That year, 60 females were murdered by males in Wisconsin.
Domestic violence situations that have reached a lethal level are dangerous to everyone. Identifying potentially lethal cases and intervening can prevent lethal escalation by connecting victims to services and heightening criminal justice responses.
Wisconsin DOJ works to ensure perpetrators are held accountable by successfully prosecuting domestic abusers who murder their partners, even when they have disposed of the victim’s body so that they cannot be found. Wisconsin DOJ trains police officers in the investigation of domestic abuse, homicide and stalking and regularly provides advice to law enforcement and district attorney’s offices across the state on best practices in specific cases they are working involving domestic abuse, homicide and stalking.
Wisconsin DOJ assists survivors of domestic violence through a variety of programs and grants, including Safe at Home – Wisconsin’s address confidentiality program, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) STOP Program.
The Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program provides a legal substitute address that can be used as opposed to their regular home or work address. This resource is available to anyone to help maintain privacy and safety in their home, school, or work life. Visit https://www.doj.state.wi.us/ocvs/safe-home to learn more about Safe at Home.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services implements the federal VAWA STOP program, which allocates funds to develop comprehensive strategies to combat violence against women that are attentive to the needs of victims and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes. By encouraging communities to explore non-traditional approaches and resources to address domestic violence and other gender-based crimes, the VAWA STOP program fosters long-term partnerships between the criminal justice system and victim advocacy agencies.
To find a domestic violence program in your area, please visit https://www.endabusewi.org/get-help/