This Mother's Day, families taking refuge at shelters throughout Wisconsin reflected on the strength and courage it has taken for them to escape domestic violence. Programs throughout the state helped to ensure a safe day filled with love and support for victims of domestic abuse and their families.
According to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, many of the women at the shelter are mothers who have their children with them. Last year, domestic violence support programs throughout Wisconsin offered shelter for 3,200 children. In fact, children make up half the residents at shelters such as New Day.
In addition to shelter programs, Wisconsin provides many resources and courses of action to victims of domestic abuse and their families. The mandatory arrest law, for example, helps ensure that a victim has time to reach safety or make other arrangements before an accused abuser is released or returned home. State laws require police officers who reasonably believe an act of domestic abuse has been committed to take the abuser into custody. Victims can also file for a restraining or protective order against the abuser. This will keep the abuser away and provide legal protection to the victim.
Another option available to victims of domestic abuse is to have a representative of a victim's service organization accompany them to any hearings, court dates or depositions they are required to attend. Finally, Wisconsin allows courts to consider evidence of domestic abuse in divorce and custody proceedings, which can help families through a difficult period.
Whatever the case, domestic abuse cases are often tremendously complex, involving a wide-array of emotions and accusations. Seeking out the right resources can help anyone caught up in a domestic violence case obtain the assistance they need in order to find justice and protect the health of their family.
Source: Ashland Current, "Mother's Day: Extra Meaning At New Day Shelter," May 9, 2012