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Madison—Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, issued the following statement on today's immigration executive orders:

On so-called sanctuary cities:

"Today's orders attempt to undermine effective local law enforcement strategies that serve to build trust and safety within communities all across the country. Local officers know that fostering trust with immigrant crime victims is the key to identifying and apprehending violent abusers. We oppose any attack on these commonsense strategies because when immigrant victims live in the shadow of fear, perpetrators of abuse are not reported and remain at large. As a result, victims and children suffer, and we are all less safe."

On the reported plans to stop or curtail refugee resettlement:

"Violence against women is extremely common in war-torn regions and areas of humanitarian crisis. Not only is religious discrimination fundamentally at odds with the core principles of this country; the proposal will also likely have the effect of denying refuge to victims of gender-based violence -- which is a further abandonment of our nation's long-standing commitments."

General comments:

"Like most Americans, I believe that the greatness of our country is not measured in the strength of walls, but through commitment to our values and concern for the vulnerable."

"We stand firmly opposed to these orders, which will only sow division, fear and insecurity in our communities."

"It will take time to understand the full consequences of these orders on immigrant victims of domestic violence. For instance, the priorities for removal are not focused onviolent convicted criminals. They are overly broad and will very likelyprevent many victimsfrom accessing protections and lead to the breaking apart of victims' families." 

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CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND TELL THEM TO SUPPORT VAWA AND LSC FUNDING!

Today, The Hill reported that the Trump team is considering cutting federal spending, including gutting all funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). VAWA was passed in 1994 with bipartisan support to improve the law enforcement response to violence against women and create specialized victim services. VAWA has been incredibly effective in saving lives and money. LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation.

 

Call or email Attorney General Brad SchimelGovernor Scott Walker and Speaker Paul Ryan today to thank them for their past support of our work to combat domestic violence and tell them that we are counting on them to publicly oppose any cuts to VAWA or LSC!

Tell them that:

  •     VAWA has saved the lives of countless women, children and men in this country.
  •     In its first six years alone, VAWA saved taxpayers at least $14.8 billion.
  •     The LSC supports legal representation to thousands of low-income survivors in Wisconsin alone.
  •     You are counting on them to publicly oppose any cuts to VAWA or LSC!

There are victims of domestic violence in every community, every workplace, and every church. Urge Paul Ryan, Brad Schimel and Scott Walker to stand in solidarity with survivors of domestic abuse and support the continued operation of programs funded by the Violence Against Women Act and Legal Services Corporation. You can find the contact information for Attorney General Schimel, Governor Walker and Speaker Ryan here:

Attorney General Brad Schimel - (608) 266-1221, schimelbd@doj.state.wi.us

Governor Scott Walker - (608) 266-1212, govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

Speaker Paul Ryan - (608) 752-4050, https://paulryan.house.gov/contact/email.htm


VAWA and LSC have made significant progress helping victims achieve justice and safety, but there is still much work to be done. Our nation’s improvements to the community-based response to these degrading and life-threatening crimes are made possible by federal funding, and it is imperative that this funding continues.

We refuse to allow this progress to be threatened. We urge you to act now to protect VAWA and LSC funding from these and any other proposed cuts.

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Madison—End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin is set to begin a new campaign to stop abuse before it ever happens. The project will work to shift the attitudes and beliefs that underlie abusive behaviors and unhealthy relationships, through a media campaign and support for local prevention initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to be launching a coordinated effort to make Wisconsin a more peaceful state,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). “Over 700,000 Wisconsin women have been victims of domestic violence, and, while we must ensure that survivors of violence have the services and resources they need to heal and to be safe, we also must devote time and effort to transform the individual beliefs and societal messages that are at the root of violence. Only then will we be moving down a path to ending domestic abuse. We want to stop abuse before it happens. In fact, we want to stop abuse before it ever enters a person’s mind as a possible way of relating to an intimate or dating partner.”

Advocates note that great strides have been made to raise awareness about domestic abuse but that messages that support abuse are still prevalent in the media and in Wisconsin communities. They also say that messages that support healthy relationships based on equality and mutual respect are lacking and can be drowned out by conflicting influences.

“Young people today are exposed to more media and communications than any previous generation,” explained Seger. “As a result, there is a high need for strategic and evidence-informed prevention work.”

Expressing optimism, Seger continued, “But the potential for positive change is greater. Today’s youth are better positioned to create a more peaceful and more just world than those of us who came before them.”

End Abuse will involve a diverse group in the planning process.

“We are currently assembling a project advisory group to bring together educators, advocates and younger folks,” said Seger. “Young people will guide our efforts. We want to communicate in ways that will resonate with the next generation.”

The prevention initiative is supported by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin is the statewide coalition of local domestic violence service providers. Working on behalf of advocates, survivors and allies, End Abuse is the only statewide coalition led by social policy advocates, lobbyists, attorneys and experts striving to support, connect, equip, empower and lead organizations for the social change to end domestic abuse.

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The incoming administration has said that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be its “first order of business” once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office on Jan. 20. Repealing the law, or even key provisions of it, would seriously affect the millions Americans insured under it. And of those millions who are survivors of domestic violence, the impact could be harrowing. 

If the ACA is repealed, insurance companies will be able to charge victims of domestic violence more simply because they have experienced abuse. The ACA also provides autonomy to victims of domestic violence, enabling them to have insurance options beyond their abusive spouse’s insurance plan. Additionally, the ACA has helped promote screening of domestic violence by health professionals, helping survivors access early help and support. 
 
Call
Senator Ron Johnson and your other federal representatives and tell them NOT to repeal the ACA! Tell them:

  • Thanks to the ACA, victims of domestic violence cannot be charged more for, or be turned away from health coverage. 
  • The ACA has helped millions of women purchase health insurance, opening doors for them to get the services they need. 
  • The ACA promotes screening of domestic violence by health professionals, helping survivors access early help and support.
 
Find your Senators’ phone numbers here.
 
Sample telephone script: Hello, my name is [your name], and I am calling from [your city and/or organization].  I am calling to tell [your Senator’s name] that Congress needs to halt the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in order to maintain victims and survivors of gender-based violence access to essential, life-saving services. The ACA has helped millions of women purchase health insurance, allowing them to get the services they need. Should the law be repealed, survivors could lose their autonomy and be penalized for wanting to access the same benefits at the same cost as their peers. 

Find your Senators’ Twitter handles here:
 
Sample Tweet: @YourSenator’sHandle, repealing the ACA puts victims and survivors of gender-based violence at risk. Stop the #ACA repeal now!

Sample Facebook Post:  This week, Congress plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would be devastating for victims of domestic violence. Congress needs to show it's support for survivors by maintaining the ACA to ensure victims and survivors of gender-based violence have access to essential, life-saving services!

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Madison—Advocates for victims of sexual and domestic violence are reacting to State Senator Steven Nass’s (R-Whitewater) criticism of a UW-Madison program that engages college-aged men in addressing violence against women. His comments come on the heels of earlier misguided remarks aimed at a University class about systemic racism. The advocates are urging Senator Nass to retract his statements.

Violence against women exists at epidemic levels in Wisconsin and nationally. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds, and domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 390,000 Wisconsin women have been raped in their lifetimes, and close to one million Wisconsin women have experienced other forms of sexual violence.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) support men taking responsibility to help change the attitudes and beliefs that make rape and battering against women so common.

According to a University website, "a goal for the Men’s Project is to ultimately prevent future violence by teaching participants to recognize warning signs of unhealthy interactions." The program also provides insights, "about perceptions of masculinity and how they impact the student experience, including gender-based violence on campus, alcohol, vulnerability, media sexuality, and relationships." 

Executive Directors from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and WCASA made the following statements regarding Senator Nass's remarks: 

“Senator Nass should be praising the efforts of young men to be part of the solution to lead healthier lives and to create a more peaceful state. It is extremely troubling that he is instead threatening the University and trying to score political points. Efforts to prevent men's violence against women are far too important for this kind of political rhetoric," said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. "We intend to reach out to Senator Nass to explain why programs like the Men’s Project, which promote UW students' work to reduce violence, are so vital, especially to the safety of women and girls in Wisconsin. We will be asking him to retract his statement."    

"Senator Nass's recent, concerning comments regarding race, privilege and masculinity illustrate the clear need for greater public understanding of the social norms – attitudes, values and beliefs – in our culture that contribute to sexual violence,” stated Pennie Meyers, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA).  

“WCASA recently launched ‘Social Norms Toolkits’ to help communities address these problems and prevent sexual violence,” stated Meyers.  “We encourage everyone to examine their beliefs and address the norms that support oppression and violence.” 

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The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA, www.wcasa.org) is a membership agency comprised of organizations and individuals working to end sexual violence in Wisconsin. Among these are the 52 sexual assault service provider agencies throughout the state that offer support, advocacy and information to survivors of sexual assault and their families. WCASA works to ensure that every survivor in Wisconsin gets the support and care they need. WCASA also works to create the social change necessary to ensure a future where no child, woman or man is ever sexually violated again.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the leading voice for victims of domestic abuse in Wisconsin. At End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, we educate shelter and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. We strive to shift Wisconsin from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence to values of mutual respect and equality, and we partner with communities in the effort to prevent and end domestic abuse. We encourage reporters to include the National Domestic Violence Hotline number [1−800−799−SAFE(7233)] in their stories for victims who need help.  A list of local Wisconsin domestic violence victim service providers can be found at http://www.endabusewi.org.

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As we look to the new year, we are excited about the training and education opportunities we will be offering in 2017. Perhaps the biggest event on the horizon is our statewide conference, which will be in Green Bay on November 15-17, 2017! Mark your calendars and look for details this spring. 

Also in spring, make your voice heard at the State Capitol on March 21, as we partner with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault to host Legislative Advocacy Day!  After that, a full offering of End Abuse trainings will continue into summer. Highlights include: Basic Restraining Order Training in Rhinelander on April 28 and Foundations of Advocacy for new advocates on May 3 & 4 in Eau Claire. The Spring Directors Meeting will be May 9 & 10 (location TBD). The Wisconsin Batterers Treatment Providers Association hold their annual conference in Wisconsin Dells on May 11 & 12. The Leadership Institute: an advocate & activist of color conference will be June 29 & 30. The Northern Training, as always, will be in July.

Regional Advocate Days for Training will be held across the state throughout the year: March (northern), June (western), August (southeastern), September (southern), and October (northeastern).

We are also looking forward to our on-site Training Center being available for events in 2017 Madison.

Details for these trainings and others will be on our website soon, and registration opens 6-8 weeks before each training, so stay tuned!

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Update:

We recently entered a video into the FVPSA video Challenge! Help us win $5,000 by rating our video:

Public voting ends 11/30 and the top three videos with the most votes will go to the judges.

1. Go to: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/domestic-violence-video-challenge/. Then, click on "Solutions" in the left column
2. Find End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin in the 7th row
3. Hover your mouse on the yellow stars (they will turn green)
4. Give us 5 stars if you are so inclined (THANK YOU!)

 


During Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), End Abuse partnered with BConnected to create a video submission to The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) YouTube competition. FVPSA seeks to raise awareness of innovative and inclusive approaches that support children and youth exposed to domestic violence.  Check out our submission here.

We will need your help to advance our video to the next round!  Public voting starts November 15th and goes through November 29th.  Please watch this space for a link to vote.  If we rank in the top 15 videos after public voting, our video will move on to the final judging phase.  First prize will receive $5,000; second prize, $3,000; and third prize, $2,000.

Thanks again to Brandon Lemke from BConnected for donating his time to advance our mission through social media!

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The last week of September was a full week for End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. On Monday, we released the 2015 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report. That day, we also co-sponsored memorial walks in remembrance of the 2015 homicide victims in Madison, Milwaukee and Stevens Point. Then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we took a major step toward preventing domestic violence homicides across Wisconsin. End Abuse helped organize three trainings on the implementation of the Maryland Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) for law enforcement and advocates in nine separate counties. These jurisdictions have agreed to use the LAP to identify victims who are at the highest risk of being killed and, then, to bring enhanced attention and outreach to these survivors. To finish the week, End Abuse gathered legal advocates from around the state in Madison to discuss how attention to high-risk factors could positively influence the safety of survivors and their children in the family law system. As if that wasn’t enough for a five-day period, we also trained new victim advocates and continued with another session of WE LEAD, our leadership academy for survivors and People of Color.

This was definitely a very full week, but this particular Monday through Friday also exemplifies that End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin uses a wide variety of mutually supporting strategies to achieve our mission: education, analysis, public awareness, lifting up the voices of those who are most affected, forming partnerships to implement best practices locally, and leadership development to cultivate the leaders and best practices of tomorrow. This one work week shows that we bring a statewide approach to our efforts and that we work with our member organizations around Wisconsin to be catalysts for collaboration and change that have real impacts in local communities.

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Memorial Walks in Madison, Milwaukee and Stevens Point 

Madison, Milwaukee and Stevens Point—At least 58 people lost their lives because of domestic violence in Wisconsin in 2015. This is just one of the grim statistics included in the 2015 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, released by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin on Monday. In Madison, Milwaukee and Stevens Point, community members gathered for memorial walks and publicly read the victims’ names aloud in conjunction with the report’s release. 

In addition to 48 domestic violence homicide deaths, nine domestic abuse perpetrators committed suicide and one individual was killed by law enforcement as he held a knife to the neck of his estranged wife.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin has released the homicide report annually since 2000. The 2015 numbers are some of the highest on record. The organization indicates that a preliminary count of 2016 domestic violence homicides is also significantly elevated. Advocates want to draw attention to the alarming trend.  

“The release of the report and the gatherings today need to move us toward change,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “This report shows that domestic violence homicides are occurring with disturbing frequency in the state. The warning signs are almost always present. Our recognition and response to them can be the difference between life and death for our neighbors, friends and family members.”

The walks that took place in Madison and Stevens Point are called the Purple Ribbon Walks, and were organized in partnership with the Zonta Club of Madison, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Portage County CCRT Community Awareness Subcommittee. In Milwaukee, the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women Walk took place at City Hall and was initiated by the Zonta Club of Milwaukee. Civic leaders, including mayors, police chiefs and cabinet secretaries, joined advocates and concerned community members at the events.  

“These public demonstrations show that the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report is about so much more than just statistics,” said Helen Ludwig, president of the Zonta Club of Milwaukee. “The report is a call for action. The gatherings signal our commitment to helping create safe and strong communities.”

At each walk, the names of the homicide victims were read aloud and written on signs carried by the participants.

“Domestic violence homicides are not forgotten. We carry the names of the victims because we carry forward their memories – especially through our collective effort to end domestic abuse in Wisconsin,” said Nancy McCulley, president of the Zonta Club of Madison

The walk in Stevens Point, sponsored by the Portage County Coordinated Community Response Team, is new this year.

“The homicide report calls for a collaborative approach to promoting the safety of victims,” said Gail Zalewski, chair of the Portage County CCRT Community Awareness Subcommittee.  “This is precisely the mission of the Portage County Coordinated Community Response Team, and we are committed to continuing to come together to achieve this goal.”

Other statistics from the report include:

  • Victims reflected the span of life, from 2 months old to 92 years old. The average age of victims was 37 years old. Perpetrators ranged in age from 14 to 66. The average age for perpetrators was 41 years old.
  • In 2015, homicides were committed in 21 separate counties in Wisconsin. About 57% of the homicide incidents occurred in urban areas, and roughly 43% happened in rural communities.
  • Consistent with the findings throughout this report’s history, firearms remain the most common means of perpetrating domestic violence homicides. In 2015, firearms were the weapons used in half of the domestic violence homicide incidents, excluding the one homicide by legal intervention.

The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/2015DVReport

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On Tuesday, October 4, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin staff, including Patti Seger, Cody Warner, Danny Ho and Stephanie Ortiz, traveled to the not-yet-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. They were joined by teens from the area who are working to prevent abuse among their peers and by representatives from Verzion Wireless. At a press event in the Packers press room, Verizon Wireless announced it is continuing to support End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s work to engage teens in the effort to end abuse in the next generation.

“Teen dating violence is more common than we think,” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse WI. “While most parents don’t believe it’s an issue in the lives of their teens, we know that one in three adolescents will be affected by dating violence and that 1.5 million high school age teens experience some form of physical violence from a dating partner each year. We are grateful that Verizon supports End Domestic Abuse WI in its work to address teen dating and sexual violence.”

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We envision communities fully engaged to provide safety and to give a voice to all affected by domestic abuse, while creating the social change necessary to address its root causes. We honor the wisdom and strength of domestic abuse survivors across the lifespan. Our mission is achievable through survivor-centered work that includes strategic partnerships and collaboration. As advocates for social justice, we embrace the voices of diverse communities.