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What do 714,000 Wisconsin women have in common?

  • 714,000 Wisconsin women have been physically abused, sexually assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner.

  • Most of this violence was significant. Almost half a million of these women were fearful and concerned for their safety, and one-quarter of a million Wisconsin women were injured and needed medical care as a result of the abuse.

  • Each year, about 30,000 domestic abuse incidents come to the attention of local Wisconsin law enforcement agencies. This is an extraordinary number, especially considering that most incidents are never reported. 

What does virtually every county in Wisconsin have in common?

  • 69 of Wisconsin's 72 counties have experienced a domestic violence homicide since 2000.

  • In that time, 499 Wisconsinites have lost their lives in domestic violence homicides.


96% of counties, which represent 99.2% of the state's population, have had at least one domestic violence homicide since 2000.

What are the consequences?

Domestic violence takes a heavy toll on Wisconsin. The loss of dozens of lives in Wisconsin each year is the most visible and perhaps most profound impact. Yet, domestic abuse's mark on our state runs deeper than the immediate consequences of violence.  Abuse happening in Wisconsin today will affect our communities in many ways, from our economy to the health and education of our children over the long-term.

Investments we make now to prevent the ongoing costs and consequences of unchecked abuse and abuse will pay off now and into the next generation. 



It may not seem obvious, but supporting victims will strengthen Wisconsin's economy. 


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate every physical domestic assault perpetrated against a woman results in an average of 7.2 days of missed work.

  • The CDC also estimates the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is $1.17 billion nationally (inflation adjusted), with more than 7.9 million paid workdays - the equivalent of more than 32,000 full time jobs - lost each year.

  • Using the best available evidence, it is estimated that Wisconsin domestic abuse service providers prevent about 85,000 missed days of work a year. That's about 340 years of productivity gained in one year.

Long-Term Health


The health consequences of abuse last well after the immediate physical wounds heal. Addressing and preventing abuse saves long term health care costs to individuals, businesses and taxpayers.


  • Abused women report poorer long-term health than women who have not been abused.

  • They also require use of health care resources at much higher rates, particularly for chronic conditions such as pelvic pain and central nervous system disorders, which are linked to ongoing abuse.

  • Studies show that victims' children also require more medical attention than their similarly situated peers.






Child Welfare


Supporting victims' efforts to protect themselves and their children will improve the physical safety of Wisconsin children and promote their healthy development. 


  • When children live in violent homes, they are at higher risk for child abuse.

  • Data suggests that about 30% of children who witness domestic violence are themselves physically abused.

  • Later, in adult life, children who witness violence, are abused or have other adverse child experiences are more likely to have physical and mental health problems, engage in high-risk behaviors, have a lower quality of life and are more likely to lack health care or be enrolled in Medicaid programs.
















Supporting local domestic violence victim services will have a positive impact on Wisconsin youths’ ability to learn, grow and be productive. 

  • Many youth who are exposed to domestic violence, either between adult family members or in their own dating relationships, are negatively impacted in their social and educational development. 

  • Exposure to violence can have profound effects on young people's adjustment to school and their ability to concentrate and learn. 

  • Similarly, teen victims of dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school and face other consequences, such as drug and alcohol abuse.




Giving victims and their children options to live safely, free from abusers, will help reduce homelessness in Wisconsin.


  • Domestic abuse is a leading cause of homelessness, especially among women.

  • Studies from our neighboring states indicate that about one-third of women became homeless because of domestic abuse.

What can we do about domestic violence in Wisconsin?

Every county and every tribe in Wisconsin has a program to serve victims of domestic violence and their children. Local domestic violence victim service providers are the critical resource in every community's response to domestic abuse.  By supporting these agencies, we are supporting Wisconsin victims' ability to live free from violence.  Opening doors to safety and freedom for victims and their children strengthens our communities and our state.

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