Safe Exit
Quickly & safely exit this site
Blog

Blog

Featured Image for Wisconsin Victim Advocates Outraged by Votes to Restrict Public Benefits and Deny Universal Background Checks for Gun Sales

Madison — Advocates for victims of domestic violence across Wisconsin are once again expressing frustration over the actions of legislative Republicans in the Capitol. Following the Assembly’s vote last week to pass a package of bills aimed at restricting access to social safety net services, the Senate passed 9 out of 10 bills of the same legislative package yesterday on a party line vote. Compounding advocates’ dismay over this vote in the Senate was Assembly Republicans’ decision to once again reject a widely supported bill to implement universal background checks on all gun sales. 
 
“Yesterday’s votes are showing Wisconsin advocates and survivors that many of the people elected to represent them simply do not prioritize the safety and independence of domestic violence victims,” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “Domestic violence has always been a non-partisan issue and we have long relied on legislative allies from both parties to understand and respond to the unique dynamics facing survivors and their children. But the fact remains that Wisconsin victims need increased access to public benefits, not restrictions and cuts. They need common sense gun regulations like universal background checks, not more firearms in their communities and their children’s schools. If these elected officials were listening to the voices of survivors and advocates in their districts, they would know that family and intimate assaults with firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than non-firearm assault. We have got to start addressing the root causes of domestic violence in this state, and that means real policy changes that prioritize youth prevention work, increase access to social safety net programs and make it harder for people to acquire firearms, not easier.”
 
In the most recent Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, ninety-seven percent of those surveyed said they support requiring background checks for all gun buyers, while just 2 percent were opposed. Additionally, research from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) shows that public benefit programs that support basic economic security are critical to the ability of domestic violence victims to achieve the financial independence necessary to escape violence.
 
“Domestic violence does not exist in a vacuum, it arises when batterers are able to exploit existing power structures to control and abuse their victims,” continued Seger. “Until we stop treating struggling families and other people in need of assistance as criminals and make real changes to the systems that affect their daily lives, we will never eradicate violence from our communities. If lawmakers are as serious as they claim to be about addressing domestic abuse, they can start with universal health care, free childcare, expanded affordable housing, living wages and real restrictions on gun access in our state.”  

###

Featured Image for Domestic Violence Advocates Appalled by President Trump’s Support for Abusers, Dismayed by His Budget Priorities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 13, 2018

CONTACT: Chase Tarrier, Public Policy Coordinator, 

End Domestic Abuse WI 

chaset@endabusewi.org, 608.237.3985

Domestic Violence Advocates Appalled by President Trumps Support for Abusers, Dismayed by His Budget Priorities  

Madison — Coming on the heels of unambiguous statements of support for multiple domestic batterers, Wisconsin advocates for victims of domestic violence are voicing strong opposition to President Trump’s newly introduced 2019 budget proposal that includes dramatic cuts to critical services for victims like the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Programs such as the LSC, the single largest provider of legal aid for low income Americans, exist to serve struggling families, disabled citizens and other vulnerable individuals like survivors of violence.  
 
“President Trump’s recent statements unequivocally supporting domestic abusers in his administration is yet another example of his disturbing history of violence against women both personally and politically,” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “Even by the standards of this administration, openly supporting multiple abusive staff members as their former victims courageously disclose their history of violence is as concerning as it is shocking. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives, and it is truly a sad day for those of us involved in the movement to end domestic violence when the President of the United States not only threatens victims’ safety through the budgetary powers of his office, but actively supports the very abusers that are controlling and harming them in every community across the country.”
 
The Trump administration has been widely criticized in recent days for statements made by both the President and his Chief of Staff John Kelly in the wake of reporting that White House staff secretary Rob Porter and David Sorensen, a member of the Trump administration's speechwriting team, both have a history of domestic abuse against former spouses. Compounding the shocking affirmative statements of support for the accused batterers, it was then uncovered that the White House was made aware of the accusations against Rob Porter before his hiring and that they had in fact contributed to a delay in granting him a permanent security clearance.
 
“The first step in combatting domestic violence is listening to victims and believing them. President Trump’s statements show yet again that he not only does not prioritize victim safety, but is in fact contributing to the trauma they face every day,” continued Seger. “We are calling on President Trump to apologize to all victims of domestic violence and educate himself on the cycle of control that abusers like Rob Porter and David Sorenson inflict on their victims. Maybe if he listened to the voices of survivors he wouldn’t be so quick to slash the services they rely on when escaping violence.”
 
President Trump’s budget proposal, which would make large cuts to funds established in the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and fully eliminate the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), was introduced just days after his public statements of support for the two recently-resigned domestic abusers in his administration. 

###

Featured Image for Patti Seger Named to Biden Foundation Council
On January 22nd, End Abuse Executive Director Patti Seger was named to the inaugural Biden Foundation Advisory Council on violence against women. She joins 16 other national leaders who will advise the Foundation on its initiatives to reduce and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
 
“Jill and I believe that, in America, everyone deserves a fair shot at the American dream. That starts by making sure every person is treated with equal dignity,” said Vice President Biden, Honorary Co-chair of the Biden Foundation. “The members named to the Advisory Councils today have devoted their lives to that creed, and we’re lucky to have them lend their expertise to this mission. By working together, we can do more to protect the rights of all people, expand access to opportunity and give every American a chance at a middle-class life. I am eager for what we will accomplish together.”
 
Advisory Council members will advise Foundation programs, enlist feedback from diverse networks and communities, and spearhead external partnerships on behalf of the Foundation to catalyze meaningful and measurable change. The first meeting of the Advisory Councils will be held by phone at the beginning of 2018, and members are expected to convene in person at least once every year.
Featured Image for Prevention Across the Lifespan
In January, we are making the final preparations for the Teen Summit on Healthy Relationships. The event will take place during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Sunday, February 4th through Tuesday, February 6th at the Wilderness Resort & Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells. Also in January, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel launched a new radio ad campaign that will raise awareness about elder abuse and encourage citizens to report abuse against seniors. Staff from End Abuse and our National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life have been advising the Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse since its creation last year. The juxtaposition of these different projects over the last month highlights the inter-generational approach we take to preventing abuse. Individuals of all ages deserve to be free from violence.
 
Another example of bridging the generations is our Growing Roots grant program, which connects youth people with community Elders in youth organizations and in youth-serving domestic violence and sexual assault programs though the state. The youth learn about their cultures and history, and form supportive connections with caring adults. What does this have to with preventing abuse? Young people who are more connected to their communities and have supportive role models are less likely to be abused or to use violence.
Featured Image for After #Liberate17, Get Ready for Teen Summit 2018

With the Collective Liberation conference in the rear-view mirror, we are excited for the Teen Summit. This exciting conference will delve into the topics of healthy relationships, teen dating, sexual violence, and how it affects youth. We invite teens, parents, and adult mentors from across the state to attend this educational and inspiring event!

Event Details

Sunday, February 4th through Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Wilderness Resort & Conference Center in the Wisconsin Dells

Special Keynote Address by Beverly Gooden!

30 Workshops and Discussion: healthy relationships, dating violence, mental health, race, teen pregnancy, human trafficking

Enjoy Teen Performances, Spoken Word and Theater, and an Open Mic Night, along with Waterpark Fun!

Beverly Gooden

Known for creating the viral Twitter hashtag #WhyIStayed in the wake of several high-profile domestic violence incidents, Beverly sparked a national conversation about how society views victims, while calling for a community response to this important social issue.

Ms. Gooden has appeared on Good Morning America, BBC News, CNN, NPR, NBC Nightly News and has contributed to TIME and the New York Times.

To register and for more details: http://www.endabusewi.org/teensummit/.
Featured Image for Bill to Address Teen Dating Violence Officially Introduced in WI Legislature

Madison— A bi-partisan group of state legislators is hoping to move the Badger State towards a more comprehensive approach to addressing and preventing teen dating violence with legislation that would implement dating violence curricula in Wisconsin schools. Advocates say that the newly introduced bill will not only improve the health and safety of Wisconsin teens by breaking cycles of dangerous behavior that contribute to increased risk of drug abuse, truancy and suicide for current youth victims, but will also help to lower the risk of abuse occurring in future generations.

Teen dating violence, which advocates define as a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner, is increasingly recognized as a widespread problem. One in three teens in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. This rate is higher than all other forms of youth violence. Over half of teens, 57-percent, know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship. Advocates report that this legislation is a critical part of ongoing efforts to prevent abuse in future generations.

“Each new generation brings enormous potential, particularly during this period when a spotlight is being shined on gendered and sexual violence in many different forms” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse WI (End Abuse). “With greater understanding that harmful relationship dynamics take hold during teenage years, we can now more intentionally instill values of equality and mutual respect in the next generation and thereby lower the rate of domestic violence in the future.”

LRB-5038, which was circulated for co-sponsorship earlier today, would require school boards to adopt policies addressing teen dating violence, including:

  • Prohibiting teen dating violence at schools or school-related events and activities;
  • Model, age-appropriate instruction about preventing and responding to teen dating violence for pupils in grades 7 through 12;
  • Training and procedures for identifying, preventing, and responding to teen dating violence for school district employees, and identifying school district employees responsible for receiving teen dating violence incident reports.

“We appreciate the efforts of the bi-partisan group of legislators working on this initiative, including lead authors Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) and Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) as well as Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield), who has worked tirelessly on the legislation in previous sessions and remains a strong supporter of the bill,” said Seger. “Now we are looking to the full Wisconsin Legislature to show that dating violence is not a partisan issue by coming together to support this common-sense proposal that will move our state closer to addressing the root causes of domestic violence.”

If LRB-5038 is signed into law, Wisconsin would join the growing list of over 20 states that have implemented dating violence curricula in schools.  

###

Featured Image for Urge Your Senators/Representatives to Vote NO on the GOP Tax Bill

Tomorrow, Congress plans to begin voting on a final version of the tax bill which will have serious negative consequences for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Please call your Senators and Congressional Representatives today and urge them to vote NO on the tax bill that will likely lead to reduced funding for victim services and other safety net programs, reduced access to healthcare, as well as an increased tax burden on lower and middle income survivors working to rebuild their lives.

Background:

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed separate versions of a tax bill that would be extremely harmful for survivors of domestic violence in a number of ways. This week, both the House and the Senate plan to vote on a reconciliation bill that could be on the President's desk before Christmas. The tax proposal could increase the deficits by up to $1.5 trillion, triggering massive automatic program cuts every year for the next ten years, in addition to Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (SPAYGO) cuts that could lead to outright elimination of many vital federal programs. These cuts could also impact the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund directly.

Additionally, reduced federal revenue will create pressure to make serious cuts across other funding streams. All programs will be vulnerable to cuts, including safety net programs and victim services. We are also concerned that many of the proposals negatively impact lower and middle income families through increased tax burdens. Finally, we are concerned that the repeal of the individual mandate will reduce healthcare coverage for survivors, as well as lower income individuals and families. 

The proposed tax legislation would negatively impact individuals in the lowest income brackets, affecting those who make less than $30,000 per year by 2019, while most of those making under $75,000 would be negatively affected by 2027. We must stop this disastrous legislation from passing! Take action today by calling, emailing and connecting on social media with your elected officials and urge them to vote no!
 


Thank you for using your voice to support survivors. Together, we can make a difference and protect all victims from this dangerous bill!
 

Call your Senators/Representatives today and say:

I urge you to vote NO on the tax bill because it could be harmful to survivors of domestic violence – through federal funding cuts, the repeal of the individual mandate, and the increased tax burden on lower and middle income families.

Use the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 to connect to your Senators/Representatives.


Find your Senators’ Twitter handles here and your Congressional Reps Twitter handles here:
 
Sample Tweet@YourSenator/Representative The GOP Tax Bill puts victims and survivors of gender-based violence at risk. Vote NO on the #GOPTaxBill!
 

Sample Facebook Post:  Tomorrow, Congress plans to pass the GOP Tax Bill, which would be devastating for victims of domestic violence. This bill is a massive tax cut that will add $1.5 trillion to the deficit just to line the pockets of the rich, all while increasing the burden on low and middle income citizens which will put numerous survivors in harm's way. I am calling on my elected officals to stop putting social safety net and other life saving services at risk of cuts just to help the wealthiest Americans! Stand with survivors and vote NO on this bill!

Featured Image for Call your Senators today and tell them to vote NO on the disastrous Tax Bill!

This week, the US Senate plans to vote on a tax bill which could have serious negative consequences for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Please call your Senators today and urge them to vote NO on the tax bill that will likely lead to reduced funding for victim services and other safety net programs and reduced access to healthcare, as well as increasing the tax burden of lower and middle income survivors working to rebuild their lives.

Call your Senators today and say:

I urge you to vote NO on the tax bill because it could be harmful to survivors of domestic violence – through federal funding cuts, the repeal of the individual mandate, and the increased tax burden on lower and middle income families.

Use the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 to connect to your Senators.
 

Background:

Earlier in the month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax bill that could be harmful for survivors of domestic violence in a number of ways. We are urging Senators to vote NO on a similar bill. The tax proposals could increase the deficits by up to $1.5 trillion over ten years. Enactment of the tax bill could trigger massive automatic program cuts every year for the next ten years. The tax bill’s deficit effects could trigger Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (SPAYGO) cuts that could lead to outright elimination of many vital federal programs. The cuts could also impact the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund directly.

Additionally, reduced federal revenue will create pressure to make serious cuts across federal discretionary funding streams. All programs will be vulnerable to cuts, including safety net programs and victim services. We are also concerned that many of the proposals negatively impact lower and middle income families through increased tax burdens. Finally, we are concerned that the repeal of the individual mandate will reduce healthcare coverage for survivors, as well as lower income individuals and families. 

 

Thank you for using your voice to support survivors. Together, we can make a difference and protect all victims from this dangerous bill!

Featured Image for End Abuse and Local Programs: Together, Making an Impact in the Capitol
Last week, End Abuse led the way towards the passage of an important piece of legislation that will protect advocates and other professionals who work on behalf of survivors -- and who themselves are experiencing domestic abuse.
 
Assembly Bill 581 had a hearing before the Wisconsin State Assembly Family Law Committee. The bill will allow victim advocates and other similar professionals to seek restraining orders in neighboring counties when they are in danger. While it may seem counter-intuitive, advocates for victims are uniquely vulnerable to abuse from partners or family members because their intimate partners know it could be especially difficult for advocates to reach out for help.
 
This legislation will allow these advocates (who are also victims) to seek restraining orders in other communities, where the increased level of anonymity could make it easier for them to get the protection they need. Advocates give of themselves to help others and we need make sure that they can reach out for help when they need it.
 
End Abuse was joined at last week's hearing by local directors and advocates who lent their voices in urging the committee to pass AB 581. Among the powerful testimonies shared was that of Courtney Olson of Rainbow House in Marinette, who offered an especially poignant recollection of the tragic murder of Trish Waschbisch. Trish was the Interim Director of the Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Shelter when she was killed by her boyfriend. By sharing Trish's story, her legacy of service and dedication to survivors remains alive.
 
Thanks to the passionate testimony of Courtney and other advocates shared at the hearing, the Assembly is expected to pass the bill this week. It will then move on to the State Senate for consideration.
 
Watch for Action Alerts to find out how you can support End Abuse's policy advocacy!
Featured Image for End Abuse Spreads Life-Saving Program Across Wisconsin

In late October, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin made headway in bringing the Lethality Assessment Program -- Maryland Model ("the LAP") to more communities in Wisconsin.

The LAP requires law enforcement responders to use an 11-question screening tool to identify victims who are at most risk of being killed in a domestic violence homicide. Victims who are identified as being in life-or-death danger are connected immediately with advocacy services.

Because the LAP is based on collaboration between law enforcement and local victim service providers, communities that want to use the LAP must apply to receive the specialized assistance and training. The application process helps communities put the partnerships in place that will ultimately save lives.

This last round of trainings were held in Green Bay, Medford and Janesville, and involved law enforcement from nine different counties, including Rock, Brown, Waukesha, Bayfield and Marquette. The range of communities trained over these three days is a great example of the broad geography End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin serves across the state all year long.

Police and advocates learned together from End Abuse Homicide Prevention Program Director Sara Krall, and from local officers and advocates who are currently using the LAP. Training participants are now taking their expertise back to their individual agencies and will begin using the program as part of an enhanced effort to save lives. End Abuse provides assistance and support to these communities throughout the process.

Page 1 of 5
First Previous
1
2
3
4
5
Next Last
Blog Navigation

BE THE CHANGE

Support our work.
Support safe families.

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.