2020 Homicides & a Special Feature on Justice, Remembrance, & Healing for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples
Madison – According to the newly released Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, 68 people in WI lost their lives to domestic violence in 2020. Monique Minkens, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse), announced the release of the report alongside Homicide Prevention Program Director Sara Krall and Systems Change Coordinator Tegan Swanson.
Of those who died, 58 were victims of homicides, 8 were perpetrators of homicide who died by suicide, and two were perpetrators who were killed by responding law enforcement. In 2020, domestic violence homicides took place in 17 WI counties, with a rate of about 1 death every 5 days. Consistent with past data, the homicide method in 52% of cases was firearms; over 1/3 of perpetrators who used a gun were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
“In the coalition’s homicide prevention work,” stated Krall, “we continue coordination with local law enforcement in evidence-based models such as the Lethality Assessment Program – Maryland Model (LAP) and high-risk teams. We also advocate for comprehensive community safety. The LAP and high-risk teams decrease lethality for survivors who decide to call law enforcement; however, we will only truly confront violence – including domestic violence homicide – by addressing its roots through ensuring safe and affordable housing, prevention education, universal healthcare, and economic equity for all.”
End Abuse has produced the annual report since 2000, with the intention of honoring the lives of victims and catalyzing improvements in systemic and community response to violence. In addition to a summary report on 2020 homicides and a spotlight on the We Are Here MKE Collective (weareheremke.org), the latest edition includes a special feature on Justice, Remembrance, & Healing for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples that highlights the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S) people.
“In their lifetime, 84% of American Indian and Alaskan Native women experience violence, with homicide being the third leading cause of death,” offered Swanson, who authored the feature in collaboration with Native families and members of the WI MMIW Task Force. “No reliable data exists on the actual number of MMIWG2S. Attempts at erasure must be met with data representation and meaningful systemic change. Native communities hold the answers that will end the MMIWG2S crisis.”
“Globally, the UN reports that gender-based violence intensified amidst the pandemic,” said Minkens. “Like COVID, the ‘shadow pandemic’ of domestic violence disproportionally impacts chronically underfunded, racialized, and marginalized communities. By meeting stated needs of Native and BIPOC communities, we address domestic violence homicide. We look to leaders in: the We Are Here MKE collective; the WI MMIW Taskforce; the LGBTQ community; the disability community; and anti-violence advocates across the lifespan. We end domestic violence homicide by ending all inter-connected forms of oppression.”
As a kickoff to Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, an opportunity to support End Abuse’s work will take place on Wednesday, September 29 from 5:30-7:30pm, when End Abuse holds their annual virtual fundraiser: Soar Above at Home. Additional information and registration is available at https://bit.ly/SoarAbove21
To review the Annual Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, visit: www.endabusewi.org/homicide-reports/
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (End Abuse, www.endabusewi.org) is the leading voice for victims of domestic abuse in Wisconsin. At End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, we educate shelter and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. We strive to shift Wisconsin from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence to values of mutual respect and equity, and we partner with communities in the effort to prevent and end domestic abuse. We encourage reporters to include the National Domestic Violence Hotline number [1−800−799−SAFE(7233)] in their stories for victims who need help. A list of local Wisconsin domestic violence victim service providers can be found at www.endabusewi.org/get-help
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