By Karen Stokes
Milwaukee’s 5th Annual Love Without Violence Conference held on October 19-20 kicked off National Domestic Awareness Month. Survivors, advocates, and family violence organizations are hosting workshops, panel discussions, and speakers to foster engaging and in-depth conversations about the harsh realities of domestic violence.
“I decided to do this conference because I was tired of people coming into our community telling us what we needed when we could do that ourselves,” said Karin Tyler, Operations Manager at The Office of Community Wellness and Safety formally known as Office of Violence Prevention.
The conference began with an opening address by Ashanti Hamilton, Director of the Office of Community Wellness and Safety.
“Today is really special to us for the fact that this month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we really want to embrace this month with the recognition of this commitment of reducing domestic violence in the city of Milwaukee,” he said.
Domestic abuse can be mental, physical, economic or sexual in nature. Incidents are rarely isolated, and usually escalate in frequency and severity. Domestic abuse may culminate in serious physical injury or death.
Antonia Drew Norton, the Founder and Director of The Asha Project, presented alarming statistics on domestic violence homicides sourced from the most recent Domestic Abuse Homicide Report.
In 2022, domestic violence homicides witnessed a rise with 96 fatalities across 25 counties, with the majority occurring in Milwaukee County. Shockingly, 88.5 percent of these cases involved the use of weapons. Nationally, there are approximately 20 domestic violence incidents every minute, totaling 10 million cases annually.
“Sometimes we don’t realize the environment or culture we create for young people. Why is it prevalent in our community when it is normalized through domestic violence in our household. We need to be conscious of that, we need to keep the conversation going,” Hamilton said.
The Love Without Violence Conference is scheduled October 19th to 20th, from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM, and it is hosted at 3248 W. Brown Street.