Bruises, emotional trauma and sometimes death... these are the stark realities of domestic violence. Although the list rarely ends there, many survivors also experience intimidation, threats, sexual assault and other abusive behavior when involved in a domestic abuse relationship. Bruises heal, but the emotional impact may take many years to heal.

It could happen to your neighbor, family member, best friend or even you. Domestic violence does not affect just one type of person. Men, women and children, regardless of race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious affiliation, education or income level can become a victim of domestic violence.

A victim may only reach out for help once. If someone you know says that they are being abused, believe them. Gather information by listening to them and offer to help. Support their decisions and BE PATIENT. Never judge, blame, pressure them or place conditions on your support. The most important point to remember is that leaving a domestic abuse relationship is the most dangerous time for the victim. Often the abuser will use physical force to stop their partner from leaving, or frequently seek them out after they have left. Confrontations such as this sometimes result in extreme physical abuse or death of the partner trying to leave.

According to the End Abuse Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, in 2017, 62 Wisconsinites died in domestic violence-related homicides, and homicide/suicides. Many of the 2017 homicide cases reflect the risk factors that research has found to be particularly associated with lethal violence. These include, among other factors: threats to use or actual use of a weapon, threats to kill, stalking, strangulation, obsessive jealousy and sexual assault.

According to The National Coalition against Domestic Violence, in the United States, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Plus, on a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of about 15 calls per minute.

The Community Referral Agency in 2018, served 72 adults and 77 children. Community Referral Agency advocates helped to prepare 417 safety plans, provided 5,819 bed nights in the shelter to survivors and their children, and provided 17,457 meals to residents and their families in the shelter.

As a community, we need to become aware, more knowledgeable and willing to step up to help someone that may be embarrassed to admit what is really going on behind closed doors. Community Referral Agency will go into the community to speak with your organization, church, business or group of individuals, sharing information regarding domestic violence, what to do, questions to ask or what not to say.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse of any kind, in a relationship, call Community Referral Agency at 715-825-4414, the Crisis line at 800-261-7233, or the Crisis Text Line at 715-559-3359. Community Referral Agency is a 24-hour, temporary shelter for survivors and their children. Our advocates can also help refer you to programs that will assist you where needed, as well as accompany you to various court appointments.

Remember that if you have an emergency to always call 911.


Submitted by: Community Referral Agency

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