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Local Advocate Says Help Is Available In Domestic Violence Situations

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton

The Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report shows 47 people lost their lives last year. Thirty-nine of them were victims of domestic violence homicides and the other eight committed or attempted homicides, then killed themselves. Firearms were used in 65 percent of the 2018 cases -- despite the fact that nearly 30 percent of the perpetrators were legally prohibited from owning a gun.

The group End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin compiled the report and says 37 percent of the victims were killed while they were trying to leave the relationship after it had ended.

Melissa Kropidlowski is Domestic Violence Program Coordinator for Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She says changing a relationship can lead to violence...

"..The victims will try to end the relationship. The victims will relate to the perpetrator that they want to leave, file a restraining order, or one day the perpetrator comes home and the victim is gone. At that point the perpetrator feels a loss of control and feels they have nothing to lose and act in a way that does result in homicide...."

Kropidlowski says the report indicates the homicide victims received threats of violence, threats to kill, they experienced stalking, strangulation, obsessive jealousy, and sexual assault.

She says there are warning signs...

"If the threat of a weapon is one of the caveats in the domestic violence incidents, definitely give us a call. If isolation starts to begin where the victim is no longer talking to family members, financial abuse. Things start very small. If a person went on a date and they were punched the first time they wouldn't go on a date with them again. It's kind of a grooming process over time...."

Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is headquartered in Rhinelander and serves Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties. They have a toll-free number at 800-236-1222 and there's an emergency shelter for people in imminent danger.

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