As we hear about more cases of domestic violence in our own back yards, the best way to reduce it is to change the way we think about it.

Many people wonder, 'Why doesn't she leave her abuser?' 'Why does she stay with him?'

"The assumption being that the victim somehow is creating, causing or contributing to the violence that's happening against them."

Patti Seger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence , says we have to shift our focus to the batterers — individuals who use violence to control their partner in that relationship — rather than trying to figure out why women stay in an abusive situation. Seger says there are many services available to help the victim to identify her own needs in order to attain safety, either within the relationship or outside of it.

"Advocates at local programs across the state can help victims of domestic violence to identify what those things are, and it may be assisting them with one of the many legal remedies that exist now, such as arrest and prosecution or obtaining a restraining order."

Seger says Wisconsin has a lot of services available for victims, but the challenge is getting the victims to those services. They're available in all 72 counties, and within all 11 Indian tribes.

  1. Homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women
  2. Domestic Violence is more common than you might think
  3. Reducing domestic violence is the key to reducing homicides
  4. Changing the way we think can help to eliminate domestic violence
  5. Typical victims, abusers of domestic violence are not typical

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:19 MP3)

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