Domestic violence in Milwaukee County; study calculates cost

Domestic violence does not discriminate, and a new report puts a number on its toll in Wisconsin.

The fallout affects everyone. The 21-page report is more than a list of numbers: It's people, families and survivors.

"I was put in a predicament that I would’ve never thought of," said Amira, a domestic violence survivor. FOX6 News is only using her first name because of safety concerns.

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Sojourner Family Peace Center and the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage estimate there are 94,000 domestic violence victims each year in Wisconsin; more than 9,200 of those victims are in Milwaukee County. Amira said she's one of the lucky ones.

"You have to move at your pace, at your own time and what makes you comfortable. So, support, support, support is the best thing," Amira said.

In Wisconsin, per the report, 36% of women and 32% of men will experience intimate partner physical violence.

"It’s a crime that usually happens in private and, in addition, victims are often reluctant to tell anyone about what is happening," said Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist with the Darla Moore School of Business.

The report state the total annual economic cost of domestic violence, in Milwaukee County, is $113.1 million. That number comes from different categories like loss of life, policing, and mental and physical health care.

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"I think the diversity of the impacted sector really mirrors the reality that a single incident of domestic violence is not really ever just that," said erin Schubert, Sojourner Family Peace Center director of outcomes and evaluation.

While the report is meant to inform and educate, Sojourner Family Peace Center's president has a message.

"There’s nothing we can say that can make up for the loss of life, the loss of companionship, love, warmth," said Carmen Pitre, the organization's president and CEO. "There are families in our midst that are suffering when a homicide happen."