Domestic Violence Victim Advocates Reflect on Women’s Equality Day

This Sunday, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day, the day women were guaranteed the right to vote through passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Advocates for victims of domestic violence say the day is an appropriate time to consider both the progress made towards ending violence against women and the fact this social problem continues to seriously impact the lives of women and girls.

“In the span of a few generations, we have made remarkable strides towards the goal of women’s equality,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). “It’s amazing to think women alive today were born at a time when their mothers’ did not have the right to vote. While the progress is significant, we still live in an unequal society, and violence against women remains both a source and reflection of that underlying inequality.”

While domestic violence affects both women and men, women are overwhelmingly the victims of violence in intimate partner relationships. Women are four times more likely than men to be beaten, six times more likely to be slammed against something and nine times more likely to be strangled or suffocated by an intimate partner. A woman is much more likely to be the victim of a domestic violence homicide than a man. Sexual violence and stalking are also crimes that are largely directed at women.

“The drive for women’s full equality requires that we continue to work for a world in which all young people—but especially our daughters—do not need to be worried about being abused by someone who claims to love them, a world in which women do not give a second thought for their safety when on a date, at a party or out alone at night,” continued Seger.       

Seger says there are tangible steps our leaders can take to achieve this goal.

“Like the broader movement for women’s equality, the anti-violence against women movement has taken huge steps forward, but similarly, there also continue to be setbacks. Eighteen years after its original passage, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is stuck in Congress.  Quickly passing a VAWA reauthorization that protects all victims would be an important achievement and put us back on track to eliminating gender-based violence in America,” Seger concluded.

Selected Resources

Voting Guide for Advocates and Survivors

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With recent law changes and court decisions, even the basics of how to cast a ballot can be very confusing  The guide covers voter registeration, ID requirements and determining where to vote. 

Development and Maintenance of Policies Prohibiting Harassment of LGBTQ People


This webinar is about policies to promote inclusion of both LGBTQ clients and employees.  After viewing the webinar, participants will be able to list the types of policies that support an environment free of harassment and bullying of LGBTQ people, describe ways to assist staff in understanding and following the policies, and list the elements of a plan to monitor claims, address them seriously, and document their corrective action(s). 

VIEW AND LISTEN. You will be directed to a short survey and the link to the recorded webinar.


The series is provided by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Domestic Abuse Program, and presented by Molly Herrmann, statewide training consultant and member of the End Domestic Abuse WI and WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault LGBTQ Committee. Services Act (FVPSA) federal requirements. Webinar 3 is Development and Maintenance of Policies Prohibiting  Discrimination and Harassment of LGBTQ People.

The series offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on organization practices and culture, and to build bridges between existing knowledge and skills and innovative, emerging practices, while also meeting the DCF training requirement.

All staff of DCF domestic violence programs receiving FVPSA funding must view each webinar live (February and March 2015) or recorded.


When you have completed the recorded webinar, download the certificate below.  It can be completed electronically or by hand and printed. Handouts are also available for download.