During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the City of Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is bringing attention to an issue that affects far too many victims through local activities and events to raise awareness and support those affected by domestic violence.
Domestic violence is the use of a pattern of abuse to maintain power and control in a relationship. It impacts people across all populations. On average, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. The abuse is not always physical; it can include emotional, financial, sexual, and spiritual abuse.
Milwaukee has made considerable strides in efforts to address domestic violence; however, the work is not yet done.
The most recent mid-year report from the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission showed a significant increase in intimate partner homicides and shootings in the city of Milwaukee. The closing of vital resources, like Asha Family Services, an agency that supported victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking around the state for nearly three decades, represents a devastating loss of culturally-specific services for some of our community’s most vulnerable members at a time when they are needed most.
We must act collectively to end domestic violence. The membership of the Commission remains committed to working together toward a future free from violence and calls on all community members to join this work.
Friends and family members are essential resources, who can reach out to victims, offer to be part of their safety plan and, above all, reassure them that the violence is not their fault. They are not alone. Help is available.
Violence is a learned behavior. For those who want to change their abusive behavior, resources are available. Children living in violence can experience trauma and are at risk of learning that violence resolves conflict. We must address the impact of domestic violence and trauma on children, and connect them with comfort and support to initiate their healing.
Milwaukee offers quality and confidential resources for those affected by domestic violence. A listing of resources is available through the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault’s “You Are Not Alone” brochure, which is available in English and Spanish. Find this and a list of resources at Milwaukee.gov/staysafe.
Preventing violence before it starts is key. We advocate for interventions that address the root causes of violence. That conversation can begin during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is participating in the 2016 National Week of Action (October 16-22) and its #PurpleThursday campaign on October 20, organized by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. We encourage others to join us. Please find additional opportunities to raise awareness below.
Housed in the City of Milwaukee Health Department Office of Violence Prevention, the Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault was founded by the Milwaukee Common Council in 1979 and is a multidisciplinary board representing the many systems that serve families impacted by violence in our community to improve the local response to domestic violence and sexual assault. For more information, visit Milwaukee.gov/health.
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