Governor’s Council Releases Long-Term Plan For Addressing Domestic Violence

Plan Calls For $20M Increase In Funding For Shelters, Other Resources

The website for the new plan from the Governor's Council on Domestic Abuse. 

The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse released a long-range plan on Wednesday that calls on the state and communities to maintain, and in some cases expand, shelters for victims of violence.

The council asserts through the six year plan that domestic violence takes a heavy toll on the state. Since 2000, 69 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have had a homicide linked to domestic violence. In addition, the report says that more than 714,000 women in Wisconsin live with physical or sexual abuse or have been stalked by a partner.

“Practically everybody knows somebody who’s been a victim,” said Patti Seger, the executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “It would be impossible to not. We should all have a stake in supporting victims and addressing the violence in Wisconsin”

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Seger said that every day, some 250 abuse victims in Wisconsin are unable to get assistance. Most of the unmet need is for shelter, but there are also some people who need help with restraining orders and child custody cases, or who need counseling. The long-range plan calls for nearly $20 million more each year in government and private funding to address these shortfalls.

Seger said the long-range plan also calls for legislation requiring schools to educate students on teenage dating and violence.

“We really need to work the problem of domestic violence from both ends,” said Seger. “We have to have services for victims and we have to be working with children, youth, and teens on messaging to help them understand what nonviolence is.”

Wisconsin has 42 domestic violence shelters. The last state budget included $1.5 million for shelters and services and more than $10 million for the Family Justice Center in Milwaukee.