Domestic violence claimed 55 lives in Wisconsin last year, according to a new report. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin found 39 people were murdered, while 12 domestic violence perpetrators committed suicide and four were killed by police.
Public Policy Coordinator Tony Gibart says, while the numbers for 2013 are about average for Wisconsin, many of the cases could have been prevented. He says “there are instances of missed opportunities, instances where help could have been offered or could have been sought…could have made a difference.”
All 72 counties in Wisconsin have services in place to help victims of domestic violence, and Gibart says the key is helping victims understand that there is an advocate in their community that can help. He says many don’t though because of shame, but “it’s important that victims that they have nothing to be ashamed of. The abuse that’s happening to them is not their fault.”
Nationally, Gibart says only about four percent of the victims of a domestic abuse homicide sought help before they were killed. He urges anyone facing abuse at home to call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or search online for help in their area.