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CASDA needs help as domestic violence homicides rise in Wisconsin

The Center Against Sexual and Domestic Violence will hold its "Fall Into Giving Drive" next week.

CASDA representatives will be outside the Harborview Super One Foods at 2202 E. Second St. to accept donations 1-6 p.m. Oct. 5-7.

The nonprofit organization, based in Superior, provides emergency shelter, advocacy and legal services, support group and more to individuals hurt by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. CASDA is in need of gift cards in any amount, nonperishable foods, household cleaners, household items and over-the-counter medications.

The call for help comes in the wake of the release the 2016 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, which shows domestic violence claimed a record 73 lives in Wisconsin last year.

The 2016 report lists more names — more lives lost — than any year since it was first published in 2000.

According to the report, issued by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, that translates into one death every five days. The victims came from 22 different counties and all stages of life. The youngest was less than a year old; the oldest was 72.

The perpetrators were overwhelmingly male — 82 percent — and guns remained the most common weapon. Firearms were used in 53 percent of the domestic violence homicide incidents; in at least six of the shooting deaths, the gunmen were legally prohibited from possessing firearms.

More than one-third of the victims of intimate partner-related homicides were killed after the relationship ended or when one person in the relationship was taking steps to end the relationship.

"This figure demonstrates that leaving does not equal safety," the report summarized. "It also supports the main message of this report: No victim in Wisconsin should have to take the courageous step of leaving an abusive relationship without the safety and support offered by domestic violence victim advocates, and without the benefit of a coordinated community response that is designed to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable."

Local help

In addition to its Superior location, CASDA runs a satellite office in Washburn and provides services to rural victims in Bayfield and Ashland counties.

In 2016, the nonprofit served 131 women and 93 children in its emergency shelter, providing 5,526 nights of safety, 11,052 meals and 5,526 snacks. As a whole, CASDA served 424 victims of abuse last year.

For more information, visit casda.org, the CASDA Facebook page or call the help line at (800) 649-2921 or (715) 392-3136.

Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Reports can be found at www.endabusewi.org under the resources tab.

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