In the 1970’s, women and men came together and saw that violence in families was a problem that no one was addressing. A grassroots movement grew out of the women’s rights movement, with emergency shelter being provided initially out of people’s homes. We’ve come a long way since those times, with government stepping up and providing funding so that domestic violence services exist across our country.
In Wisconsin, services are available in all 72 counties and within the 11 federally-recognized tribes. Those early years formed the foundation of how services to victims of domestic violence are delivered to this day. With a focus on addressing the immediate safety needs of families, services revolved around shelter, legal, and economic supports. The evolution of these services was critical and life-saving for millions of families since the mid-1970’s. As important as these services are to this day, we know that if all we ever do is provide services without ever trying to change the root causes and societal messages that support the violence, we will never end it.
Over 15 years ago, End Domestic Abuse WI became one of the first statewide coalitions in the nation to start to work towards preventing domestic violence before it even becomes a risk factor in people’s lives. Initially funded with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and continuing our work with funding from the WI Department of Children and Families since 2017, we have imagined a future where domestic violence is something of the past.
This year’s Annual Report focuses on our Statewide Prevention Initiative, our upstream work with teens and youth, and our statewide prevention campaign called Dare2Know. We believe that violence is deeply rooted in oppression, domination, and extraction.
In order for us to change our world, we have to imagine the kind of world that we want to live in and that we want our children to grow up in. We must both build on the work of the generations before us and create a foundation for the generations that are yet to come in order to realize a world where every human is safe, healthy, and thriving.