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End Domestic Abuse WI In The News

Monday 09/29/2014

700,000 Wisconsin women have experienced domestic violence at one point in their life. That number is larger than the population of Green Bay and Milwaukee combined.

Monday 09/29/2014

GREEN BAY, WIS. (WFRV) - Startling new numbers reveal 714,000 Wisconsin women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Monday 09/29/2014

Wisconsin needs an additional $19.7 million a year to provide basic services to victims of domestic abuse, including emergency shelter, food, housing, counseling and other services, according to a new six-year plan released Wednesday.

Tuesday 07/29/2014

Several years ago, Sara Cornell fled an abusive relationship and showed up at Dane County’s only domestic abuse shelter, her two young sons clinging to her side.

Monday 07/21/2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Domestic abuse shelters, often tucked away in the protective privacy of an obscure neighborhood, have begun moving out of the shadows with more public profiles aimed at generating more community support and better access for victims.

Tuesday 07/15/2014

An Oneida County judge has ruled that a northern Wisconsin man shouldn't be denied a concealed carry permit for his gun, despite the fact he has a domestic violence conviction on his record.

Monday 06/16/2014

Domestic violence continues to take the lives of many Wisconsin residents. A recent report from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin indicates that a person in killed in a domestic violence-related incident on average once a week in the state. For each of these victims, there are thousands of other victims for whom violence or the threat of violence is an everyday reality.

Wisconsin’s law enforcement officers respond to tens of thousands of domestic violence calls each year. Statistics from 2012 show that 28,729 domestic abuse incidentswere reported to law enforcement and referred to prosecutors during the reporting period, representing a slight increase from 2011. As part of my annual Summit on Public Safety this month in Wisconsin Dells, law enforcement will learn about the link between domestic violence and stalking as it relates to lethality, and we’ll explore Maryland’s Lethality Assessment Program.

The Lethality Assessment Program is an evidence-based tool designed to assist first responders in identifying victims of domestic violence who are at the greatest risk of being killed, and encouraging them to seek domestic violence services.

The Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Resource Prosecutor also will facilitate a panel discussion with six Wisconsin police agencies, all of which have implemented innovative policing strategies in their communities to battle domestic violence. Through the discussion, law enforcement attendees will walk away with some new “tools” for their own communities.

Heroin use also continues to significantly impact much of Wisconsin, resulting in the loss of far too many lives. Through recent legislation, the Department’s Heroin prevention public awareness campaign “The Fly Effect,” and public engagement in the issue, we’ve collectively been able to better inform one another, but there’s still plenty of work to do in battling heroin’s deadly grasp, fueled largely, research shows, by the abuse of prescription drugs.

Results from a recent study, released online in JAMA Psychiatry, show “75 percent of those who began their opioid abuse in the 2000s reported that their first regular opioid was a prescription drug.” And, nearly every respondent, according to the study, indicated they used heroin instead of prescription drugs not only for the “high” from heroin, but because prescription drugs were more expensive and more difficult to get. This is further evidence that the link between Heroin abuse and the prescription drugs we keep in our household medicine cabinets is undeniable.

At this year’s summit, our presenters will share how local law enforcement can take the lead in prevention efforts by bringing together multiple disciplines and community stakeholders to reduce abuse and in turn, reduce drug-related crime in their neighborhoods, and save lives. We’ll also explore effective investigative techniques when responding to an overdose death to ensure that those who deliver drugs that kill are held accountable. Finally, the Director of Training and Development for the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children will share strategies for establishing community-based partnerships across disciplines to respond to the needs of a child exposed to drug abuse or domestic violence in the home. By sharing tools and information, law enforcement in your community will be better equipped not only to respond to crises but lead efforts to prevent them.

J.B. Van Hollen is Wisconsin’s attorney general.

From: Wausau Daily Herald

Monday 06/09/2014

MADISON — Former Calumet County district attorney Kenneth Kratz, who drew fire for sending unwanted, sexually charged text messages to a domestic abuse victim, will lose his law license for four months.

Monday 06/09/2014

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has slapped former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz with a four-month suspension of his law license and $23,000 in legal fees more than two years after Kratz was charged with sexually  harassing a domestic violence victim.

In 2009, Kratz sent dozens of sexually explicit text messages to a woman while he was prosecuting her boyfriend for strangling her.

Beth Schnorr of Harbor House Domestic Abuse services in Appleton said the four-month suspension doesn’t fit the crime, and that it ignores the impact his actions had on the victim.

“He's intimidating and harassing her when she’s already been a victim and now victimized again by someone in a position of power,” said Schnorr. “Four months and then he still gets to practice law after that – wow!“

A spokesman for End Domsetic Abuse Wisconsin, Tony Gibart, agreed with Schnorr.

“The court never acknowledges the wide impact that this atrocious behavior had on the system generally and in particular (on) vulnerable victims of crime.”

After the allegations became public, Kratz resigned as county prosecutor, went through sexual addiction treatment, got divorced, and filed for bankruptcy. Since then, he's started a new law firm specializing in criminal defense.

In a statement released on Friday, Kratz makes no mention of the victims of his actions, but says he's grateful he can still practice law and is working to help other attorneys deal with addictions that they suffer from.

In two concurring opinions in the Kratz ruling, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice David Prosser called for a thorough review of the way the Office of Lawyer Regulation investigates and prosecutes attorneys for ethical violations.

From: Wisconsin Public Radio

Wednesday 05/28/2014

When mass shootings happen, the explosive gun debate reloads across America. In Wisconsin, where nearly half of all households possess firearms and “God, guns and the Green Bay Packers” are worshipped as Trinity, we are as conflicted as ever. Some feel frustration, sadness and helplessness over a senseless death toll. Others say if there is indeed a “toll,” it’s about people, not their weapons. Is there room for middle ground? And is anyone actually seeking it?

Tuesday 05/13/2014
A recent state appeals court ruling could make it easier for local government agencies to refuse to
grant open records requests, though advocates for preventing domestic violence say the court
decision was made in the interest of protecting a Milwaukee Public Schools employee.
The ruling upheld a decision by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors to deny Korry Ardell access
to the sick leave records of his ex-girlfriend. Ardell says he wanted to prove she was filing for leave
when she wasn't sick. He had previously been accused of abusing her, and a restraining order she
filed against him had just expired when he requested the records.
Tony Gibart of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin says the ruling properly take into account the way
Ardell planned to use the records.
“To consider the safety of its employee, the school board obviously had to consider who the person
was, because this person had this history of stalking and harassing its employee,” said Gibart.
Bill Lueders, chair of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, says a ruling like this sets a
precedent that could unfairly block public records access to journalists or to average citizens who do
not intend to use them to harass or stalk someone. Lueders says records custodians aren't supposed to
consider who wants the records or why when responding to a request.
“Our experience is that any time you create through statue or court rulings some exception to the
rule that public records are public, authorities will seize on that to deny requests that they'd rather
not to fulfill,” said Lueders.
Lueders says the ruling may not prevent people like Ardell from getting the information he or she
wants because they can always ask someone else to make the request for them.
Monday 04/21/2014

When former Milwaukee County jail guard Aron Arvelo was charged recently with two felonies accusing him of secretly recording female co-workers, it wasn't the first time he had run into trouble for harassing women.

Monday 04/21/2014

MILWAUKEE — Gov. Scott Walker signed three bills Wednesday aimed at strengthening domestic-violence laws, including one measure proposed after a man fatally shot his estranged wife in 2012 while she was working at a Brookfield spa.

Monday 04/21/2014

“Do you feel safe at home?” the nurse asked the woman. The nurse was helping to identify and protect those who may be at risk for domestic violence.

Thursday 02/27/2014

MADISON — A legislative committee has approved a bill that would establish a standard process for seizing guns in domestic abuse cases in Wisconsin.

It was one of three gun measures addressed by legislators on Thursday.

The state Senate’s public safety committee passed the measure unanimously, setting up a full Senate vote. The measure passed the state Assembly last week. Senate approval would send the bill on to Gov. Scott Walker.

Wisconsin law requires people to surrender their guns if they’re subject to a domestic abuse injunction but doesn’t spell out how.

The bill from Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, would require the subject of an injunction to fill out a form documenting his or weapons. A judge would hold a hearing to order the person to surrender the weapons. The person would fill out a form requesting the guns’ return when the injunction expires.

Mandatory record checks endorsed

The Senate public safety committee also approved a bill that would require judges to gather police records on someone under an injunction before returning his or her guns.

The proposal by Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, would require judges to request the state Justice Department supply information on whether the person is otherwise prohibited from possessing a gun.

The committee approved the bill on a 5-0 vote. The vote clears the way for a full vote in the Senate. The Assembly approved the bill unanimously earlier this month.

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association have both registered in support of the bill. The only group registered against it is Wisconsin Gun Owners, Inc. The group’s website says it opposes all gun control.

Mandatory background checks sought

Democratic lawmakers are calling on Republicans to act on a bill requiring universal background checks for all gun sales in Wisconsin.

Current law requires only background checks for gun buyers from federally licensed dealers. The bill would require background checks would apply to all sales, including gun sales made online and at gun shows.

Sen. Nikiya Harris, D-Milwaukee, said an 18 percent increase in Milwaukee’s homicide rate is one reason to close what she called loopholes in the public safety system. Harris says without universal background checks the state’s current laws preventing felons from possessing guns are meaningless.

Legislators stood behind boxes of 16,500 signatures from Wisconsin residents who support universal background checks. Republicans have not scheduled the bill for a hearing.

From: The Associated Press.