Putting attention on domestic violence - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Putting attention on domestic violence


MADISON (WKOW) -- It was a silent march in the name of victims who are often too afraid to speak up.  On Monday, a group of experts in domestic violence quietly walked around Capitol Square.  They tried to make the public aware of just how pervasive violence in the home truly is.  In Dane County, one-third of arrests are related to domestic violence.

Among the experts there Monday was a woman we're calling 'Lisa.' She's a mother of three who said she lived in an abusive marriage for ten years.

"(My husband) would threaten me if I stayed, he would kill me, she said.  "He would threaten if I left, he would kill me.  There was a time I was just plain paralyzed with fear."

And while groups like Zonta and Domestic Violence Intervention Services has ways to offer help for victims like her, 'Lisa' said fear allowed her to stayed married.  She said nothing changed until the abuse moved from behind closed doors to in front of her kids.

"Prior to that, I could deceive myself and say the kids are asleep, I don't know what's going on," she said.  "But that time really made a difference to me, and a lightbulb went of in my head."

A group like domestic abuse intervention applauds the goal or encouraging people in violent relationships to seek help and leave if need be.  "We're helping victims plan for their safety, so they can leave if they choose to do so," said Shannon Barry, executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.  Barry also ackowledges the risk.

She and others present said the rate of homicide is six times higher when a woman tries to leave an abusive relationship.  Barry said it was the case in the stabbing death of a woman in July on Madison's West Badger Road.

On Kottke Drive last weekend, police found Salvador Tellez-Giron, 66, and his wife Viviana Tellez-Giron, 33, dead inside a far westside condo.  The couple was married, but not living together.

'Lisa' has advice for anyone willing to take the risk she did.

"It's not their fault," she said. "They're not alone. There is help, and it is possible to heal from it."

In total, domestic violence killed 67 people in Wisconsin in 2006 and 2007.  The names of the victims were read aloud to conclude Monday's event.

Also over the weekend, Cottage Grove police said a woman had to be taken to the hospital Saturday morning for non-life threatening injuries after a domestic disturbance.

Another incident took place Sunday morning in which a town of Roxbury man was shot inside his home multiple times. He is also expected to live.

For information for anyone involved in domestic violence, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services set up 24-hour hotlines at 608-251-4445 or 1-800-747-4045.

CLICK HERE to email story ideas to Carl Agnelly.

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