Shedding a light on domestic violence

The Violence Intervention Project has placed a lantern outside the main office at 1405 Division St. in Algoma to commemorate victims whom have lost their lives to domestic violence. This was inspired by the tragedy of two lives recently lost to domestic violence in Northeastern Wisconsin.

The lantern will be lit for a period of one week following each domestic violence related homicide that occurs throughout the state of Wisconsin. The Violence Intervention Project will utilize the lantern to create community awareness. Information will be available on Violence Intervention Project’s Facebook page.

A woman is beaten every nine seconds in the United States, and domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects data pertaining to domestic violence in Wisconsin, and they have reported 464 homicides from 2000 to 2011.

Forty people lost their lives to domestic violence in 2011 alone. Victims ranged in age from infancy to 82 years old. Domestic violence affects people from all religions, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status and educational backgrounds.

No one is immune to domestic violence, as we have learned from the recent homicide of the interim director of the domestic violence agency in Marinette. Many people find themselves questioning how a domestic violence victim advocate could herself be a victim of domestic violence.

Domestic violence never happens because of something the victim did or didn’t do. Blaming the victim for the violence that was perpetrated against her takes away the responsibility of the offender. The question we should be asking is why do offenders abuse.

Domestic violence is more than a single act of violence; it is a cycle of abuse that repeats itself over a period of time. An abuser uses isolation, emotional abuse, threats, intimidation, economic abuse and children to gain control over their victim, making it increasingly difficult for a victim to end the relationship.

If you are being abused: remember that you are not alone, it is not your fault and help is available. If you are interested in speaking to an advocate or attending a support group, please call the Violence Intervention Project at (920) 487-2111 or our 24-hour Hotline at (920) 837-2424. All services are free and confidential. Find us on Facebook. Please help the Violence Intervention Project shed a light on domestic violence in Wisconsin.

From: Green Bay Press Gazette