Madison - The Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin released a long range plan for domestic violence victim services in Wisconsin today. The plan titled, “Vision. Hope. Safety.,” describes the state of services for victims of domestic violence and urges adequate investment in critical, community-based service providers.
“While close to 40,000 victims and children get lifesaving help every year, approximately 250 requests for help from victims go unmet every day in Wisconsin because shelters and service providers do not have adequate capacity,” said Renee Schulz-Stangl, chair of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and director of a local service provider. “Abuse costs the state dozens of lives and millions of dollars each year. There are proven organizations throughout Wisconsin that help victims end ongoing violence. A relatively small investment in services for victims will spare our communities the human and financial costs of unchecked abuse.”
The Plan emphasizes the need to maintain and expand the network of shelters and service providers that currently exists in Wisconsin. It also sets five other specific priority areas for investment: services to children and youth; outreach to victims and communities; services led by culturally-specific and LBGT communities; resources for civil legal representation; and, investment in promising homicide prevention strategies. The Plan is intended to guide state and local governments, non-governmental funding and the victim advocacy field until 2020. Advocates say they will continue to listen to survivors and communities over the next six years to make sure the Plan is up-to-date and reflective of the needs.
“The Plan makes clear that domestic violence is a statewide issue of pressing importance,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “The public recognizes this fact. Approximately half of the investment in domestic violence victim services comes from non-governmental sources, and much of this funding is from individual contributors. Now, we need both the public and private sectors to work to meet the full need, so that every victim and every child affected by domestic violence has a helping hand and the opportunity to be safe.”
The Plan was released at news conferences in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Marshfield and Milwaukee.
The Plan can be accessed and explored at: http://www.WIDVPlan.com.