Sheriff’s Corner: Domestic Abuse Awareness Month
The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Abuse awareness month. This is truly a global issue whose victims walk among us every day. Domestic abuse is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. While most of us associate domestic abuse with physical abuse, other forms include psychological and emotional abuse.
It is reported that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. On average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, which over a year’s time equates to 10 million women and men.
Here in Wisconsin during 2015 there were 48 Domestic Abuse homicide incidents which resulted in 41 deaths, and yet less than half of all domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement. This compares to 36 Domestic Abuse Homicides in 2014. Even more alarming is that within the first 6 months of reporting for 2016 there were already 39 Domestic abuse Homicides.
Sadly, domestic abuse is the No. 1 cause of birth defects. More than all other medical causes combined.
In all of this tragedy there is good news. We have organizations and individuals working tirelessly to put an end to domestic violence by being the voice of the victims. They are ready to serve as advocates for those who fear to speak for themselves. We have implemented protocols throughout the law enforcement and the judicial system to more effectively investigate and punish those who engage in this destructive behavior.
To commemorate this month’s awareness, and to support those affected by domestic violence here in Kewaunee County, the Violence Intervention Project will be holding a lighting ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church at 6 p.m. Oct. 18. This has become an annual tradition of support and sharing, and all members of our community are welcome to attend.
We will be lighting Chinese Lanterns in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and will joined by a guest speaker. For more information on this event, please feel free to contact the Violence Intervention Project at 920-487-2111
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Sheriff's Corner: Domestic Abuse Awareness Month