Survivors, activists and service providers in the Battered Women’s Movement, including members of the Alma Center staff, have worked for over four decades to end violence against women.
Tremendous progress has been made.
But the problem remains serious and pressing. The time is here for research-based innovative solutions for ending the violence.
We can incarcerate domestic violence perpetrators, but they will be released. We can house victims in shelters, issue protective orders and enhance our arrest rate and criminal justice response, but, as we have too frequently witnessed in Milwaukee and across the nation, if an abuser remains intent upon harming his victim, the interventions we currently utilize cannot truly guarantee the victim’s safety,
Most domestic violence victims and abusers have deeply interconnected lives—sharing children, residences and family resources. And more often than not, for varied and complicated reasons, the victim and abuser choose to continue in a relationship together despite the violence, and regardless arrest, imprisonment or other sanctions. Even if the current relationship ends, the abuser will still be a father and will be involved in new intimate relationships regardless whether he changes his behavior.
Given these realities, the uncomfortable and tragic truth of domestic violence is that there exists a 100% risk of repeat, ongoing and future violence, and always a risk of lethality.
At the Alma Center we have come to believe that to create true safety for victims and children in violent families, and to break the cycle of violence–the abuser must change.
Help us end domestic violence by changing abusive men.