Domestic violence incidents a reminder to get help - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Domestic violence incidents a reminder to get help

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Acts of domestic violence exist in every community, but many go unnoticed and unreported. With two domestic violence-related deaths in Dane County this month, and dozens across the state every year, advocates say victims shouldn't be afraid to reach out for help to break the cycle of abuse.

Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DAIS) executive director Shannon Barry says cases like these are all about power.

"Oftentimes, when batterers feel like they're losing control of their victims that's when we start to see violence escalating," says Barry.

Victims living in fear of retaliation often stay silent. Less than a quarter of all domestic violence acts are reported. In 2010, 58 people died across Wisconsin in domestic violence related incidents, 5 in Dane County.

Advocates want victims to know they're not alone. They help identify the warning signs of a dangerous situation.

"Typical red flags might be: a partner who's extremely jealous, someone who's very possessive of the victim, somebody who needs to monitor the victims whereabouts," says Barry.

Other signs-- economic dependence on the abuser, threats, and blaming the victim for anger and outbursts.

But there's help for batterers who want to change too. Therapist Darald Hanusa, PhD, works with abusive men, teaching them how to solve problems without violence.

"To really value equality in a relationship and to really value learning non-conflict resolution," says Hanusa.

Hanusa says the 14-month program called ATAM (Alternatives and Treatment for Abusive Men) can help change a life-long history of violence, often rooted in an abuser's childhood.

While the program doesn't work for everybody, it's a step in the right direction for some. Hanusa says men often leave with a different perspective and an understanding of how to carry on a healthy relationship.

(DAIS) offers a 24-hour help line, an emergency shelter, support groups and children's programs.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call the Crisis Line at (608) 251-4445 or toll free at 800-747-4045. Interpreters are available.

Visit the DAIS website.

Learn more about ATAM at the Midwest Center for Human Services website.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Domestic violence advocates say two tragedies in Wisconsin are a reminder that help is out there.

On Monday afternoon, 2-year-old Yandel Castillo Castillo was killed after being hit by a car authorities say was driven by his 32-year-old father, Jesus Castillo-Dimas.

Fitchburg police are charging Castillo-Dimas with first degree intentional homicide and attempted first degree homicide. Police believe he intentionally drove his vehicle toward the boy and his mother.

On Tuesday afternoon, three young girls were found dead in their River Falls home. Police have arrested their father, 34-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen.

Authorities say the girls' mother called police, concerned about their well-being after talking with Schaffhausen. Authorities smelled gas in the home.

Agencies like Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) are here to help. The group offers a 24-hour help line, an emergency shelter, support groups and children's programs.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call the Crisis Line at (608) 251-4445 or toll free at 800-747-4045. Interpreters are available.

Visit the DAIS website.

Tonight on 27 News at 5 and 6, Jennifer Kliese will share more about how families dealing with domestic violence can look for warning signs and get help.

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