End Domestic Abuse: Annual Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report released

Contact: Chase Tarrier, Public Policy Coordinator,
608.237.3985 or chaset@endabusewi.org

Madison — According to the newly released Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, 73 people in Wisconsin lost their lives to domestic violence in 2016. Patti Seger, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse WI, announced the release of the report at the State Capitol today along with Rep. Melissa Sargent (D – Madison), Veronica Figueroa-Velez, Executive Director, Unidos Against Domestic Violence and Shannon Barry, Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS).

Of the individuals who died because of domestic violence in 2016, 57 were victims of domestic violence homicides, 14 were perpetrators of homicides or attempted homicides who then committed suicide and 2 individuals were perpetrators of domestic violence who were killed by responding law enforcement. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin has been producing the annual report since 2000. This year’s homicide count is above the annual average for that 17 year period.

“Each year since we began releasing this report, it has represented for us a time of remembrance and reflection on the lives that were lost and the ways that we can evaluate our communities response to domestic violence,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “The advocates we work with witness firsthand the devastation that domestic violence inflicts on our communities every year. This report highlights findings that point to clear warning signs for domestic violence killings that inform our daily interactions with victims as we work to empower survivors and prevent future domestic violence deaths.”

“We look forward to utilizing the information in this report to aid in our continued efforts to protect survivors and educate the public about domestic and sexual violence in our communities,” said Seger. “Domestic violence is not just an inter-personal issue, but a societal issue, and we hope that this report will be a tool for our community leaders as we all work together to stop the violence that affects our friends, families and neighbors every year.”

The report contains a discussion of domestic violence lethality risk factors. Knowledge of such risk factors can help service providers identify victims who are at the greatest risk of being killed and provide them with enhanced outreach and services.

The report is available at: http://www.endabusewi.org/homicide-reports/

Other statistics from the report include:

-Perpetrators of domestic violence homicide incidents were overwhelmingly male. In 2016, 42 of 51 (82%) of perpetrators were men. This figure excludes the two homicides that occurred during legal intervention

-In 2016, over one third of the victims of intimate partner-related homicide were killed after the relationship ended or when one person in the relationship was taking steps to leave the relationship. This figure demonstrates that leaving does not equal safety. It also supports the main message of this report: no victim in Wisconsin should have to take the courageous step of leaving an abusive relationship without the safety and support offered by domestic violence victim advocates and without the benefit of a coordinated community response that is designed to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

-Victims reflected the span of life, from less than one year old to 72 years old. The average age of victims was 36 years old. Perpetrators ranged in age from 18 to 76. The average age for perpetrators was 38 years old.

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