Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't forget, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month....a few comments from me:

The issue of domestic violence has been in the news a lot lately...and for good reason. Although the number of domestic violence-related deaths are down slightly in Wisconsin, the past two years have seen record high numbers in domestic violence-related deaths.  Wisconsin loses an average of one person every week due to domestic violence. Another important fact to consider is that firearms were used in 61% of those homicides. November 1 is just around the corner. As the number of people who carry concealed weapons in the state increases, I worry the number of domestic violence-related deaths will also increase.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Raising awareness is one step we must take as a society to eradicate this problem. We also must support victims.The news is filled with stories of states and  municipalities cutting programs which aid victims of domestic violence. I'm most alarmed by the recent decision by the city council of Topeka, Kansas to decriminalize domestic violence. Their rationale...they can no longer afford to prosecute these cases. The message I get from that decision is victims of domestic violence don't matter.

The costs of domestic violence on its victims (both the target and the children witnessing the violence) as well as society as a whole, must not be ignored. These costs include medical costs, mental health services, and lost productivity. More information about the societal cost of domestic violence can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipvbook-final-feb18.pdf

Domestic violence is a shameful reminder of how far we as a society have yet to go, especially with regard to respecting and protecting the rights of women and children. More information about domestic violence in Wisconsin can be found here: http://www.wcadv.org/2010-wisconsin-domestic-violence-homicide-report-released

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