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End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin invites you to share your ideas, skills, experience and passion at its statewide conference, Collective Liberation: Movement Building for the Years Ahead. Our audience includes advocates and activists for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and their communities, and stakeholders who work to end and prevent violence.

With a goal of radical movement building, this conference will feature more than 40 diverse workshops, two dynamic keynote speakers, and other related special events. It is our goal to embrace a radical message of unity with a racial justice framework, while maintaining intentional inclusion and radical healing at its core.

We seek a wide variety of presenters who can share knowledge and skills related to addressing root causes of domestic violence. We welcome presenters with lived experience or professional experience, who wish to share in traditional and non-traditional presentation formats, including workshops, seminars, panel or facilitated discussions and interactive activities. It is our main goal to bring historically marginalized voices to the forefront of discussion. Opportunities are available for 60-minute workshops in morning and afternoon sessions. 

Click here to learn more!

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The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is bad for victims! Now is the time to make your voice heard!
 
This evening, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives plan to vote on a bill (the ACHA) that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Loss of the ACA would threaten the healthcare of millions of people across our country, but victims of domestic violence would face particular harm. Please make sure your Congressional Representatives know that this is simply inexcusable.  
 
Call on your Representatives today and ask them to prioritize the health of victims across the country and vote NO to the AHCA.
 
The AHCA would make health insurance more expensive, and by putting coverage decisions in the hands of the insurance companies, far fewer services for victims will be covered. Coverage for many low-income survivors of domestic violence will be eliminated, and healthcare plans will no longer have to pay for screening or counseling related to domestic violence. Additionally, under the AHCA victims would no longer be able to access health care without their abuser's knowledge as they could under the ACA. Please contact your Representatives to urge them to oppose the repeal of the ACA and the enactment of the ACHA.

Please click to email and ask your Members of Congress to vote NO to the ACHA (American Health Care Act) or call their office directly and leave a message.
 
If you can make the time, telephone calls are a vital help on this important issue. You can look up your Congress members' names at the link below, and reach their office at the switchboard number. 
  • House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
  • Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121.  Ask for the staffer who handles Health Care issues, and say that you oppose repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

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 Representative'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. 

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End Abuse Immigration and Poverty Attorney Megan Sprecher is encouraging law enforcement executives across the country to build better relationships with immigrant crime victims. Megan co-authored an article in the March issue of The Police Chief, which is the magazine of the International Association of the Chiefs of Police. The article describes successful partnerships between police departments, victim advocates and legal service providers to help undocumented victims access help from the police. Many undocumented victims are often too fearful of immigration enforcement to report crimes committed against them. U Visas and other forms of immigration relief can help ease some of these concerns and make it more likely that victims, their children and the community are protected. Megan’s article ends with this story about an undocumented woman who survived a gunshot to the back of her head:

The perpetrator was apprehended and charged….[W]ithout the women’s cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of the crime, the community would be less safe. The U Visa was a tool that helped the young woman gather the courage necessary to cooperate. She still is recovering from her traumatic brain injury, but she is happy to be able to watch her young son, who wants to serve in law enforcement, grow up.

Against waves of anti-immigration policies and rhetoric, End Abuse continues to advocate for sensible immigration policies that guarantee immigrant victims the ability to seek help and safety for themselves and their children.
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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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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.