Contact: Gina Paige ― 608-266-9000
(MADISON) ― The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, presented awards to honor two individuals for their contributions in the fight against domestic violence in a special ceremony held today at the state Capitol. The ceremony was hosted as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a statewide effort to raise awareness about the effects of domestic abuse.
Since 1991, the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has selected recipients for Outstanding Achievement in Domestic Abuse Issues awards. This year’s awardees are:
Jeff Beckmann of Madison received the Justice Award, which honors an individual or organization for outstanding accomplishment in promoting safety, empowerment and justice for victims of domestic abuse and their children. Beckmann, who works for J&K Security Solutions, has supported Domestic Abuse and Intervention Services (DAIS) over the last 20 years through providing security solutions at their facilities and by being a dedicated member of their Trustee Council. Always wanting to do more for survivors, Beckmann devoted his time to start an annual golf outing, which has raised nearly $500,000 for DAIS in just five years – helping thousands of women, men and children that are experiencing domestic violence in Dane County each year.
Tess Meuer of Madison received the Patricia J. Waschbisch Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has provided exceptional services to many survivors of domestic abuse over the course of a career and who has promoted a vision of ending violence and achieving social justice. The award is named for and commemorates the legacy of an advocate who lost her life in a domestic homicide in 2013. Meuer currently serves as Director of Justice Systems at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and began her career in domestic abuse services over 30 years ago. Her achievements include assisting in the development of the Domestic Abuse Guidebook for Wisconsin Guardians ad Litem: Addressing Custody, Placement, and Safety Issues; authoring a Domestic Abuse chapter in the State Bar of Wisconsin’sLawyer’s Desk Reference; and being named the Warren H. Stolper Adjunct of the Year Award in 2016 by the University of Wisconsin Law School Alumni Association and Board of Visitors for her wide array of legal work pertaining to domestic violence. Meuer has advocated for many years to make a difference in the lives of domestic abuse survivors and continues to do so.
On a single day in Wisconsin, approximately 2,500 victims seek assistance from a domestic abuse program. Through a strong partnership between DCF and non-profit county and tribal partners, individuals are receiving specialized trauma-informed care that is allowing them to heal and become independent again.
“Children who witness domestic violence often experience long-term trauma that, left untreated, can lead to them becoming victims or abusers themselves,” said DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson. “By taking a two-generational approach to help parents and children overcome their traumatic experiences, DCF is working to end the cycle of domestic violence.”
DCF continues to work on preventing domestic abuse through educating a range of audiences, including a statewide media campaign with youth-focused messages about healthy relationships and the prevention of domestic and dating violence.