Wisconsin groups look for new ways to fight domestic violence - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin groups look for new ways to fight domestic violence

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence celebrates its 30th anniversary, and says it's time to reinvent its revolution.

The group says its seen significant success dealing with domestic abuse over the years. However, annual statistics do not reflect its success.

Experts say every year over 30 thousand causes of domestic abuse are reported, and 35 to 40 of those cases involved homicide. The Coalition Against Domestic Violence says those numbers rarely fluctuate.

"Because we're not seeing real reductions we're, in the last five years, implementing a primary prevention program," said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Those primary prevention programs involve educating children before they start to show signs of abusive behavior.

"One of the barriers I think is that our communities and our societies have taught young boys and girls on what they think is healthy," suggested Kabzuag Vaj, executive director of Freedom Inc.

Seger added, "What are the messages they get from their peer group. What are the messages they get from the TV or music about violence against women and what can be their role in promoting healthy relations."

Kabzuag said domestic abuse groups need to rethink how they approach these problems. "We need to look at alternatives. There needs to be alternatives to punishment, there needs to be alternatives to solving problems within out young people, because we need to start changing social norms," explained Kabzuag.

Domestic abuse groups routinely work with law enforcement, healthcare providers and schools to spread their message.

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is especially proud there is an advocacy group in every county and tribe in the state. Representatives from those regions will be attending the coalition's conference, which runs through Friday.

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