Creating a safe place for victims of domestic abuse
On average, three women are murdered every day in the United States. One-third of them was killed by an intimate partner. Approximately 600 women are raped every day, and less than 20 percent of victims report the incidents or seek medical help.
Those statistics (culled from 2005 reports by The Department of Justice, Center for Disease Control and the National Organization for Women) are stunning, but as Carmen Pitre says “they are only the tip of the iceberg.”
“There is a large mass under what is reported,” she says, referring to cases of domestic violence and abuse that go unnoticed. “It really reflects the entirety of what we’re dealing with in Wisconsin.”
Pitre is the Co-Executive Director for the Sojourner Family Peace Center, an organization that provides education and resources to victims of domestic violence. SFPC houses a 42-bed shelter along with a 24-hour emergency shelter and hotline, and is highly involved in the community on the local and statewide level to advocate for victims of abuse. Pitre says that while Wisconsin saw a decrease in violent crimes in 2009, that same year reported incidents of domestic violence reached a 10-year record high.
Domestic violence does not begin and end with one victim, but creates a cycle of violence that permeates families and communities. Today, Carmen Pitre explains how Sojourner Family Peace Center is working to empower victims of abuse, and break the cycle of violence in Milwaukee.
(Windows Media Player)
Sojourner Family Peace Center is always seeking volunteers to aid them in their efforts. To learn more about volunteering, click here or call (414) 933-2722. For more information about the documentary film Changing the Conversation: America’s Gun Violence Epidemic, click here.
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