The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence has released the annual compilation for 2010 of all the fatal domestic violence incidents in the state. More victims were killed with guns than by all other means combined.

State Domestic Violence Homicide Report Released
Article | October 12, 2011 - 6:27pm | Ashland Current

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence recently released the 2010 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report, which is an annual compilation of all the fatal domestic violence incidents in the state.

The report shows that 58 people were killed in 2010 in 39 separate incidents. These totals are down from 2009, which saw 67 deaths and 57 incidents and marked the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the report’s 10-year history.

In 2010, seven individuals in Wisconsin killed themselves after taking the life of a current or former intimate partner.

“This marks the second decade of the Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report. It is an opportunity to remember the lives lost, search for answers and raise awareness so that domestic violence is no longer tolerated in our communities,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The report shows a person is killed in a domestic violence incident on average once a week in Wisconsin - approximately 30 percent of the all homicides in the state, Seger said.

“But numbers don’t begin to tell the whole story. For every homicide counted in the report, there is an individual victim who was loved by family and friends, and for every homicide victim, there are many thousands of domestic violence victims in Wisconsin who, while thankfully still alive, continue to live with the terror of domestic violence," she said. “This is a problem across Wisconsin and in every single community."

Seger called for community-wide engagement, rather than leaving solutions up to law enforcement and victim advocates.

The report shows that domestic violence crosses all classes, ethnicities, and sexualities, Seger said.

“But, we know individuals from oppressed groups face many more barriers when escaping a violent relationship or seeking treatment for abusive behavior. Obstacles to safety, like economic insecurity, discrimination or homophobia, multiply the impact of domestic violence," Seger said. "Ending domestic violence requires ending all forms of oppression.”

The report indicates correlations between a highly disproportionate number of African American homicide victims and the crisis-levels of poverty and unemployment in urban, African American communities.

The report also notes that intimate partner violence homicide in LGBT relationships is most likely undercounted because the nature of the relationship between the victim and perpetrator may be hidden or not accurately portrayed in public accounts of the homicide.

Seger mentioned a connection between gun use and domestic violence.

“Again in 2010, more victims were killed with guns than by all other means combined,” said Seger. “Firearms were used in 61 percent of all incidents of domestic violence homicide. With concealed carry right around the corner, there is even more reason to worry that domestic violence victims will continue to be the target in fatal shootings.”

Other data from the report include:

  • Perpetrators of domestic violence homicide incidents were overwhelmingly male--86 percent.
  • Victims range in age from less than one year old to 87.
  • Victims were from 17 counties across all regions of Wisconsin.
  • At least 12 minor children were left orphaned or without a mother as a result of a domestic violence homicide.
  • Six people who are suspected to have been the primary perpetrators of domestic violence were killed by responding law enforcement officers.
  • Of the incidents that were related to intimate partner violence, over half occurred after the relationship had ended or after the victim took steps to leave the relationship.

The full report is available online at: