In Portage, good Samaritans donate about $20,000 to help an 11-year-old boy who was found burned, beaten and malnourished in his own home. The money is a good start…

But Patti Seger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence , says we all need to focus on reducing and preventing domestic violence from happening in the first place.

"If we can focus on reducing and eliminating domestic violence entirely, the hope is that there will be few to no homicides in our future."

Education is a good start, and our laws aim to wipe out family abuse. Seger says the work being done to recognize, intervene and prevent domestic violence is relatively new to our culture, starting only about 30 years ago.

"…Which is really a short amount of time for us as a culture to start focusing attention on a very large systemic issue that is really interwoven into the social fabric, not only of the Unites States culture but virtually every culture in every country throughout the world."

Seger says centuries of this kind of behavior have to be changed. So, we should look at every little success as a part of the big picture. Wisconsin has only created legal reform within the last 20-years or so.

"Wisconsin's mandatory arrest law, for example, is short of 20-years old; restraining orders became available about 25-years ago."

Homicides in domestic violence cases have decreased, but Seger says it's the  batterer who benefits from that statistic. She says for many years, desperate victims of abuse felt that their only way out was to kill their abuser. No so much any more. Unfortunately, Seger says, abusers have not held back, and they continue to kill their victims.

  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 (1:48 MP3)

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