Domestic violence deaths rise in 2009While the nation’s overall violent crime rate has fallen, it was an exceptionally deadly year in Wisconsin for domestic violence cases.
By: By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
While the nation’s overall violent crime rate has fallen, it was an exceptionally deadly year in Wisconsin for domestic violence cases. And an advocacy group says 2009 could rank as one of the most violent in decades.
Every year, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence goes through police records to tally how many people were killed in incidents of domestic violence.
Usually the group waits until Domestic Violence Awareness Week in October to publicize the results. This year, its policy coordinator, Tony Gibart says the preliminary number was so high they decided to release it early. According to their numbers, 59 people died as a result of domestic violence last year, compared to 36 in 2008.
Gibart says tough financial times are partly to blame. He says the economy won’t drive an abuser to use more violence, but victims are less likely to leave an abusive environment if they are financially insecure.
Gibart says the state’s domestic violence shelters are reporting unprecedented requests for help, but funding sources for domestic violence services are drying up. He says local governments and charitable organizations have less money to put toward domestic violence.
Reports of non-lethal domestic violence are also on the rise, and Gibart says the level of that violence has escalated to include near fatal stabbings and strangulations.