Wisconsin Voices Tell Senate Judiciary Committee to Prevent Domestic Violence Killings

Madison—Today, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on protecting women from gun violence. Two of the five speakers, Elvin Daniel and Racine County Sheriff Chris Schmaling, have Wisconsin connections. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse) praised Mr. Daniel and Sheriff Schmaling for speaking out and telling Congress to take commonsense steps to prevent domestic violence homicides.

“We are grateful Chairman Leahy and the Senate Judiciary Committee have prioritized domestic violence homicide prevention,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Abuse, “and we are extremely proud that two of our own testified today, acting as voices for victims in Wisconsin and across the country.”

The two Wisconsin speakers approach the issues of domestic violence and gun violence with different experiences, but they shared a common point of view: that Congress should do more to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

Elvin Daniel’s sister was murdered by her estranged husband, along with two of her co-workers at the Azana Spa and Salon in Brookfield in 2012. Although he was prohibited from buying a gun because of an active domestic abuse restraining order, Radcliffe Haughton easily obtained a firearm through the private sale loophole in the federal background check system.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling spoke about the connection between guns and domestic violence homicides from his perspective as a law enforcement official. In Racine, Sheriff Schmaling has been a leader in improving the enforcement of laws that restrict domestic abusers’ access to guns, and he advocated for a state law that verifies firearm surrender in abuse cases.

“Since 2000, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin has analyzed and reported on every instance of domestic violence homicide in Wisconsin,” said Seger. “While many individual tragedies, like the Azana Spa shooting, are etched in our minds, we don’t always see the larger patterns. Each year, guns are the most common weapon in domestic violence homicides—they account for more killings than all other weapons combined. Therefore, keeping guns out of abusers’ hands is one of the most critical things we can do to prevent domestic violence from claiming more lives.”

A recording of the hearing can be viewed here: http://www.c-span.org/video/?320765-1/hearing-violence-women-act&live


Selected Resources

Voting Guide for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With the passage of the Wisconsin photo ID voting law, there is a lot of confusion about who can vote and how they can vote.  The guide explains how survivors can register to vote and ensure they have the proper documentation to vote.   In this volatile political climate and budgetary climate, we need survivors’ voices and participation at the ballot box now more than ever.   

Hope. Vision. Future. A Plan for Providing Services to Domestic Violence Victims in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has created a long-range plan for serving Domestic Abuse victims. This document includes an overview of Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Programs, including statistics, services, populations served, and a financial picture. Recommendations address the issues of Economic Justice, Financial Self- Sufficiency, Housing, Legal assistance and Primary Prevention.

2011-2012 Legislative Agenda
WCADV and WCASA Milwaukee Sick Pay Brief

Domestic and sexual violence take a tremendous toll on public health and safety in Milwaukee. This brief, filed by WCADV and WCASA, supports the Milwaukee Paid Sick Days Ordinance which permits victims paid leave to obtain services from these organizations.

2013-2014 Legislative Agenda
Changes to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance for DV Victims - Dec 2009

WCADV Policy Development Coordinator, Tony Gibart, offers the following summary of how Wisconsin unemployment statutes have changed in response to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

DCF Brochure about Domestic Violence and W-2

This brochure from the Department of Children and Families explains some of the resources and protections available to W-2 participants who are or were victims of domestic violence.  It is to be given to all W-2 applicants and participants. Hmong and Spanish versions are also available. 

Fact Sheets Related to Brookfield Shooting

These two fact sheets cover topics that were implicated by the shootings at a Brookfield, Wisconsin salon on Sunday, October 21, 2012.  They address (1) domestic violence and the workplace and (2) restraining orders and firearm surrender.