Domestic violence victims' advocates concerned over media coverage of shooting

BROOKFIELD -- Sunday's shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield has been covered heavily by the media in recent days, and that has some worried. Two groups have sent out a special request regarding how the media chooses to cover this story.

Domestic abuse victims' advocates from the Sojourner Family Peace Center and The Women's Center in Waukesha are calling for a conversation regarding how the media covers the shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield.

The groups sent media an email on Wednesday, October 24th titled: "Playing audio of court proceedings creates additional barriers for local domestic violence victims."

The victims' advocates worried that playing audio recordings from a court hearing where the gunman's wife, Zina Haughton requested a restraining order against her husband, Radcliffe Haughton could lead other victims to suffer in silence.

"We know this is public information. We understand that," Marie Kingsbury with The Women's Center said.

"I don't know that it serves any purpose for these kinds of horrific details of this situation to be heard by the public or anyone other than those who were involved," Carmen Pitre with Sojourner Family Peace Center said.

Victims' advocates said they worry the impact of media coverage could lead victims to avoid attempting to get out of their abusive relationships.

"Now they have to consider whether or not they come forward because they don't want to intimate details of their life out in the public square," Pitre said.

Pitre adds that it also seems unfair, since Zina Haughton is not here to defend herself, as she was one of three killed in the shooting.

Both women said questions need to be asked and conversations need to be had by the entire community. They say this horrible crime must be turned into an opportunity to help victims come forward and abusers to get help.

"I've never met a battered woman that likes to be battered.  They are looking for a way out. We don't live in a society where it's easy to get out," Pitre said.

Both women stressed the importance of keeping blame where it belongs and that is on the perpetrator. They also say everyone in the community, whether it's victims' advocates, police, the media or family and friends should play a role in stopping this problem and making sure a tragedy like Sunday's shooting doesn't happen again.

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