Milwaukee police, Sojourner Family Peace Center join forces to help domestic violence victims

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department is working closer than ever with the Sojourner Family Peace Center to help victims of domestic violence.  Police have worked closely with Sojourner since 1986, and on Wednesday, May 22, they joined forces to enhance their partnership with the goal of helping all who are impacted.

"It's something that crosses geographical -- it's something that crosses races, and ethnicities, and genders," said Heather Wurth, MPD captain.

Domestic violence can impact anyone. Too often, it ends in tragedy.

Sojourner Family Peace Center

Carmen Pitre

"One homicide is too many, in our opinion, and it's heartbreaking and painful for the family," said Carmen Pitre, executive director of the Sojourner Family Peace Center. "We share the same mission of increasing victim safety and holding offenders accountable. Our efforts are to look at what we can do systematically to reduce near fatals and to overall open doors for families in our community."

Partnership advancements will include increasing victim referrals to the Sojourner Family Peace Center facilities, home visits with domestic violence victims and expanding community outreach.

Milwaukee Police Department and Sojourner Family Peace Center join forces to combat domestic violence

Heather Wurth

"Violence happens because people are isolated, which is why community outreach is important," Pitre said.

Police districts have liaison officers to make a difference as well.

"What encompasses domestic violence isn't just violence against a victim, but it's violence against the entire family," said Captain Wurth.

The deeper, expanded relationship has already started, with leaders meeting at least once a week, focused on ending the cycle of domestic violence.

CLICK HERE for domestic violence homicide analysis in Wisconsin, dating back to 2000 -- including an interactive map.

CLICK HERE for domestic violence data from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.