Janesville, Wisconsin – Domestic violence claimed the lives of 47 people in Wisconsin in 2018, according to the state’s most recent Domestic Violence Homicide Report. Domestic violence is an equal opportunity crime. It does not discriminate. It affects people of all races, ages and genders.
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we will hold a candlelight vigil at Olde Towne Mall in Janesville. Join us as we remember the victims of domestic violence and stand in solidarity with the survivors.
Tuesday, October 29
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Olde Towne Mall, 20 S. Main St., Janesville
YWCA Rock County works with domestic violence survivors through our emergency shelter and transitional living programs, which often times operate at capacity. We also serve young victims of domestic violence. The YWCA CARE House provides support to children who either suffered abuse due to domestic violence or witnessed domestic violence.
“The environment at the CARE House is specifically designed to put young victims at ease,” said Jessi Luepnitz, Program Director for YWCA Care House and the Alternatives to Violence emergency shelter.
In 2018, child advocates at the CARE House conducted 183 forensic child interviews in conjunction with area law enforcement. Of those interviews, 56% involved sexual abuse or human trafficking. 22% of the interviews involved physical abuse and 21% involved drug endangered children or children who witnessed domestic violence. The interviews conducted at the CARE House are admissible in court, which means the child does not need to physically take the stand to testify.
“The CARE House spares children from being re-victimized by having to tell their stories multiple times,” said Luepnitz. “Law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors and other agencies are all present in a separate room while the child is being interviewed by an advocate. The agency representatives have the ability to have their questions asked by talking into an earpiece the advocate wears.”
The statistics we shared are a stark reminder that domestic violence happens in our communities. During the candlelight vigil our staff and survivors will have a chance to tell their stories, which will serve as messages of hope and awareness. We will also have a moment of silence to remember the lives that were taken too soon. The event will end with a short walk through downtown Janesville as a show of solidarity.