Madison – According to a newly released report, 80 people in Wisconsin lost their lives to domestic violence (DV) in 2021 – 12 more deaths than the previous year. End Abuse Executive Director Monique Minkens announced the release of the annual Domestic Violence Homicide Report alongside Homicide Prevention Program Director Sara Krall, Systems Change Coordinator Tegan Swanson, and Co-Director of Prevention & Engagement Jenna Gormal.
In 2021, DV homicides took place in 21 WI counties, with a rate of 1 death every 4.5 days. Of those who died, 65 were homicide victims – up from 58 in 2020 – and 11 were perpetrators of homicide who died by suicide – up from 8 in 2020. Over half (52%) of victims were the perpetrator’s current or former intimate partner.
“We see consistent patterns in the data,” stated Krall. “Just as in past years, the homicide method in the majority of cases – 67% – was firearms. Over 1/3 of those who used a gun were legally prohibited from possessing that firearm. The frank reality is that we aren’t doing enough to prevent homicides. Without investment in prevention, we’ll continue seeing loved ones and community members be killed.”
In addition to data on 2021 homicides, the report offers historical, national, and global context and spotlights the link between mass violence and intimate partner violence (IPV), the link between family violence and pet abuse, and addresses interventions with those who cause harm.
“As we go into Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October,” said Minkens, “this report highlights what advocates – especially marginalized folks – have been demanding for decades: address root causes. It’s no secret that access to safe and affordable housing, bodily autonomy, prevention education, and economic equity will reduce violence. It is a matter of acting on that knowledge, in order to save lives.”
End Abuse has produced the annual report since 2000, with the intention of honoring victims’ lives, drawing attention to the pervasiveness of domestic violence, and catalyzing improvements.
“We can’t ignore issues surrounding these tragedies,” said Gormal. “In over half of mass shootings, the perpetrator also shot a current or former partner. Non-Hispanic Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women are killed at nearly three times the rate of non-Hispanic white women. We can’t prevent homicides without addressing the sexism, racism, and gun violence repeatedly revealed in the data. We can’t save lives if policymakers, voters, and community members don’t value survivors’ lives enough to act on what we know will help. We plead our state to act and vote in line with victims’ needs. Victims deserve to live with dignity and safety. They deserve to live.”
To review the Annual Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, visit: www.endabusewi.org/homicide-reports/
Access the full 2021 report at bit.ly/2021_WI_HomicideReport