Sebena murder sparks conversation about domestic violence
Authorities say Benjamin Sebena told them he stalked his wife for several days before going to the Wauwatosa fire department on Christmas Eve, according to the complaint telling police “he laid in wait for her,” before shooting his wife 5 times in the head and face.
“It's the case we're always working to prevent,” says Carmen Pitre who counsels battered women at the Sojourner Family Peace Center.
While every case is different Pitre says they often follow the same pattern, it’s about control.
“They use different tactics, weapons, guns and threats, he had been stalking her, he had been jealous; those are all of the things that we hear from our clients so it’s very familiar to us.
Police say earlier this month Jennifer Sebena confided in a fellow officer that her husband had “put a gun to her head.”
Pitre's says the fact that Sebena was in law enforcement herself shouldn't come as a surprise, the reality is, abuse doesn't discriminate
“What we know doing the work is that any of us are eligible, it doesn't matter how smart you are or what race you are, all of us eligible to be hurt,” said Pitre.
According to Pitre only a small number of cases become deadly, estimating about 18 to 29 deaths a year in the Milwaukee area, but she says she hopes that at the very least these crimes will raise awareness about what is the leading cause of injury to women nationwide: domestic violence.
Pitre says we need to get there sooner.
“We know that violence is a learned behavior so that means we can unlearn it,” said Pitre.
Funeral services are scheduled for Jennifer Sebena for Saturday at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield.