DEVELOPING: 2009 record year for domestic violence in Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DEVELOPING: 2009 record year for domestic violence in Wisconsin

by Colby Robertson

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- According to a press release the number of domestic violence homicides in Wisconsin in 2009 will far outpace 2008 and may constitute a 10-year high.

There were 36 domestic violence homicides in 2008. Preliminary data indicate that there were at least 46 domestic violence incidents resulting in 59 deaths in 2009.

Statewide data shows local domestic abuse victim programs report unprecedented numbers of requests from victims desperately seeking shelter and other services.

General crime statistics show a drop in violent crimes nationally, but domestic violence victim advocates say domestic abuse is different from other crimes. Police strategies to target gangs or concentrate on certain neighborhoods do little to prevent domestic violence.

They say the recession plays a role, too. Financial insecurity prevents victims from leaving abusive homes, allowing the violence to continue and escalate.

Patti Seger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) says, "We have to see domestic violence as an epidemic."

This is a story that Newsline 9's Colby Robertson is working on today. See what local domestic violence experts have to say about this report coming up tonight at 5, 6 and 10.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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