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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The City of Milwaukee is committed to ending the cycle of violence. As part of our efforts to raise awareness about this issue and help our community access resources, the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has partnered with TMJ4 to offer a phone bank on Tuesday, October 22, from 3-6:30pm. Experts representing local domestic violence agencies will be on hand to answer anonymous calls from community members.

Domestic violence is the intentional use of a pattern of abuse to maintain power and control in a familiar relationship. Abuse affects individuals, regardless of their class, race, sex, nationality, religion, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Our partners at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission (MHRC) have recently released reports on the scope of this issue locally and statewide.

Abusive behaviors may include:

  • Physical Abuse: Use of physical force in a way that injures or puts others at risk of injury
  • Emotional Abuse: Use of words, tone, actions, or lack of action meant to control, hurt, or demean
  • Sexual Abuse: Forced or coerced sexual act or behavior motivated to acquire power and control
  • Financial Abuse: Use or misuse of financial or monetary resources of the partner or of the partnership without the partner’s freely given consent
  • Spiritual Abuse: Using victim’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
  • Identity Abuse: Using personal characteristics to demean, manipulate, and control partner; comprised of “isms” around race, gender, sex, age, sexual orientation, etc.

Download a handout with examples of abusive behaviors

The decision to leave an abusive relationship is difficult for victims, and their reasons for staying may be numerous, including:

  • Fear of physical harm, retaliation, dealing with the legal system, or changing their situation
  • Love for their significant other
  • Lack of resources (housing, money, accessible programs)
  • Isolation from supportive friends and family members
  • Familial pressure
  • Normalization of violence in the relationship
  • A sense of guilt or responsibility for the abuse
  • A desire to help their abuser
  • Potential public shaming or humiliation
  • Optimism that things will change
  • Religious belief and values

You can take steps to help someone you care about. Click here for tips on how to help a loved one.

The Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault also publishes materials to help community members locate domestic violence resources.

Our "You Are Not Alone" brochure is available for download in English, Spanish, and large print. It supplies the names and phone numbers of organizations that can help if you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, family violence, or child abuse.

Our safety planning cards, "You Have a Right to be Safe,"  are available for download in English, Spanish, and Hmong. These cards assist survivors in developing a comprehensive plan to safely escape domestic violence.

For hard copies of these materials, please contact the Commission Coordinator.

Additional Resources

Office of Violence Prevention Contacts



Get involved in violence prevention efforts.

Access our calendar of events.


Contact Us

Office of Violence Prevention
Milwaukee Health Department
Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building
841 North Broadway, 3rd Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Terry Perry
Director, Office of Violence Prevention
(414) 286-8553

Erin Perkins
Coordinator, Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
(414) 286-2997