Plan focuses on improving services for domestic violence victims

Officials hope plan emphasizes need to maintain, expand shelters, service providers
Plan focuses on improving services for domestic violence victims

A long-range plan for domestic violence victim services was released Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin released the Vision Hope Safety plan, which describes the state of services for victims of domestic violence and urges adequate investment in important, community-based providers, according to a release.

“While close to 40,000 victims and children get lifesaving help every year, approximately 250 requests for help from victims go unmet every day in Wisconsin because shelters and service providers do not have adequate capacity,” said Renee Schulz-Stangl, chair of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and director of a local service providers. “Abuse costs the state dozens of lives and millions of dollars each year. There are proven organizations throughout Wisconsin that help victims end ongoing violence. A relatively small investment in services for victims will spare our communities the human and financial costs of unchecked abuse.”

The plan emphasizes the need to maintain and expand shelters and service providers currently in Wisconsin, officials said. It also sets five other priority areas to invest in.

Five priority areas:

Services to children and youth
Outreach to victims and communities Services led by culturally-specific and LGBT communities Resources for civil legal representation Investment in promising homicide prevention strategies

The plan is intended to guide state and local governments, nongovernmental funding and the victim advocacy field until 2020, according to the release. Advocates will continue to listen to survivors and communities to make sure the plan is up-to-date and reflects the needs of those using the resources.

“The plan makes clear that domestic violence is a statewide issue of pressing importance,” said Patti Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “The public recognizes this fact. Approximately half of the investment in domestic violence services comes from nongovernmental sources, and much of this funding is from individual contributors. Now we need both the public and private sectors to work to meet the full need so that every victim and every child affected by domestic violence has a helping hand and the opportunity to be safe.”