"Vision, Hope and Safety:" Long-range plan for helping domestic abuse victims is revealed

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A statewide council on domestic abuse has revealed its long-range plan for helping victims of domestic abuse, and their families.

The plan is called "Vision, Hope and Safety."

The council says right now, programs that deal with victims of domestic violence don't have enough funding and resources.

That's a main goal for the next six years -- making sure victims get the help they need before it's too late.

"Those victims who are not connected to services are isolated and it continues to be one of those risk factors that puts them in a place where they could possible be the next victim of homicide," Mariana Rodriguez with the UMOS Latina Resource Center said.

The report also recommends increasing teen dating violence prevention education, and increasing funding for public awareness campaigns against domestic violence.

On the same day that the long range plan for A Safe Wisconsin was released, the Women’s Resource Center in Racine County announced it will embark on  a 1.5 million dollar capital campaign. Executive Director Cherie Griffin, along with Racine County Executive James Ladwig, City of Racine Mayor John Dickert, and domestic violence survivor and national speaker Teri Jendusa-Nicolai spoke at a press conference kicking off the capital campaign at the Racine Public Works Building in Sturtevant.

Part of money raised will be used to purchase a domestic violence shelter in Western Racine County which will dramatically increase the accessibility of safety services accessible to residents living west of I-94.

“For you, have heard your quite pleading voice, and on behalf of our entire community, I say we are securing a space. We are renovating it to be comfortable and meet the highest safety standards,” said Griffin. “You will not be alone in your struggle from freedom from violence. We are answering your pleading call.”

Women’s Resource Center (WRC) will be conducting a 1.5 million dollar capital campaign through the end of 2015 to raise funds for two major projects. The first will be the purchase and conversion of a building in Burlington that will serve as a shelter for Western Racine County. The second project will revolve around a number of significant upgrades to the current 110 year old shelter located in the City of Racine.

James Lawdig, Racine County Executive, addressed the importance of the entire county coming together to financially support WRC’s capital campaign.

“I cannot encourage people enough to participate in the Women’s Resource Center’s Capital Campaign” said Ladwig. “The work WRC does is tremendous.”

WRC runs the county’s only domestic violence shelter for Racine’s 195,000 plus residents. The existing shelter is located at the far east side of Racine County presenting challenges for Racine County’s rural communities.

“There is no community that is without domestic violence” said Racine Mayor John Dickert. “WRC is the strength that bookends the community with services that can save lives.”

Despite these challenges, WRC has continued to expand its programs and partnerships, serving hundreds of women, children, and men in Racine County through their current office located within Love Inc.

The new facility will provide access to all of the services that WRC offers at its current east end facility including safe and secure shelter.

Teri Jendusa- Nicolai, a resident of Wind Lake and domestic violence survivor and nationally known speaker, said “Something like this can happen to people out in the county. We acknowledge that. We recognize that. We are gong to change that.”