Wisconsin Sees 18% Increase In Domestic Abuse Deaths In 2021
"The frank reality is that we aren't doing enough to prevent homicides". That quote from Wisconsin Homicide Prevention Program Director Sara Krall summarizes the harsh statistics offered in the 2021 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report.
The report - shared by The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence - has been published by the organization since 2000, giving number and detail to the 955 individuals who have been killed in domestic violence homicides in the state since then. It also tracks improvements made in the process.
2021 was another sobering year.
According to the report, 80 people lost their lives to domestic violence last year. That number represents an 18-percent increase over the year prior, or 12 additional deaths. Looking at the state as a whole, the domestic violence deaths "took place in 21 Wisconsin counties, with a rate of 1 death every 4.5 days".
October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. That determines the timing of the reports release. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin Executive Director Monique Minkes explains:
"As we go into Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, this report highlights what advocates - especially marginalized folks - have been demanding for decades: address root causes. It's no secret that access to safe and affordable housing, bodily autonomy, prevention education, and economic equity will reduce violence. It is a matter of acting on that knowledge, in order to save lives."
The statistics released as part of the report offer insight into the scope of the problem. While it might be common to assume that each of the homicides involved a female victim and a male preparator, the number was almost split: 33 of the 80 deaths in Wisconsin were female victims, while 30 of the victims were make. The remainder represents the associated perpetrator deaths that are included as part of the report.
Here are some other statistics from the 2021 report:
- Perpetrators were largely male - 84.5%
- 52% of the victims of domestic violence homicide were a current or former intimate partner of the perpetrator.
- Ages range from three months old to 77 years old for victims (Average age was 37 years old)
- Perpetrator ages ranged from 17 to 56 years old (Average age was 35 years old)
- 74% of the homicides occured in urban (rather than rural) areas
- Firearms were involved in 67% of the domestic violence homicide incidents
- There were 15 perpetrator suicides in 2021
To read the full report, click here.
As End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin states on their website, "[their] name is [their] mission". They aim to "educate shelter and program volunteers and advocates, law enforcement, legislators, and community members to provide safety and support to survivors. [They] strive to shift Wisconsin from the attitudes and beliefs that cause domestic violence to values of mutual respect and equity, and [they] partner with communities in the effort to prevent and end domestic abuse".