City and County Leaders Call for ‘Purple Alert’ to Protect Domestic Violence Victims in Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Common Council unanimously adopted a resolution last Tuesday directing the City’s Department of Administration – Intergovernmental Relations Division to advocate for state and federal legislation implementing a Purple Alert system to expedite the process of filing a missing person report for domestic violence victims.
“A Purple Alert system would save lives by making it easier to quickly locate victims of domestic violence,” said Supervisor Taylor. “With every hour that passes, a missing person becomes more vulnerable. Reducing the amount of time a loved one must wait to file a report is essential to the health and safety of someone who may be in harm’s way. The many victims I have connected with have inspired this work, like Ms. Carrie Scott-Haney who lost her daughter to domestic violence and was repeatedly told to wait 48 hours to file a report.”
Similar to an Amber Alert for missing children or a Silver Alert for seniors, a Purple Alert would reduce the amount of time that must elapse before a concerned individual can complete a missing person’s report when the missing person is a victim of domestic violence. The alert would also notify the public of the missing person and secure the support of the community in locating the missing individual.
“This is a step forward in ensuring that everyone in our city has the basic right to feel safe in their own home,” said Common Council President Cavalier Johnson, a sponsor of the City resolution.
“The impact of domestic violence on families is devastating,” said Alderwoman Milele Coggs, also a resolution sponsor. “We hope this legislation helps families have a chance at locating their loved ones sooner, alleviating some of the pain. I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation and grateful that Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee are aligned on this issue.”
If enacted, Wisconsin would be the first state to employ a Purple Alert system for missing or endangered victims of domestic violence.