Domestic violence homicides on the rise in Milwaukee

NOW: Domestic violence homicides on the rise in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (CBS)-- Milwaukee has seen a spike in domestic violence homicides this year. Local domestic violence prevention advocates are pushing people to help victims.

“We live in a culture that normalizes violence, glorifies it to an extent, we tolerate it and then we get the result we get," Carmen Pitre said. She is the CEO and President of Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee. 

She says there were 29 domestic violence homicides in 2019 and there have been 49 cases so far this year.

 "Which is the most I’ve seen in my career."

The spike could be due to a number of unfortunate situations.

“I think COVID has certainly lead to the increase ,but I never like to say one thing causes violence, I think violence has to be present.”

Even during the holiday season, emotions tend to rise.

“At the holidays, I think there is this magical belief that everything should be perfect and I think that’s false, life is difficult, we live in troubling times. I think that false idea can lead people to more stress, anxiety, pain and suffering," Pitre said. 

A 48-year-old man was shot to death on Christmas Eve while while trying to prevent a neighbor’s domestic violence situation.

It happened at Riverwood Apartments on Singer Circle.

“My greatest fear is that people will take away from this incident the idea you should not intervene and I think that would be tragic for survivors. Survivors need us to intervene in their lives when they are trapped in violence.”

If you see a domestic argument, Pitre says don’t hesitate to call for help.

“Intervene but intervene safely, Call 9-1-1, keep calling 9-1-1 until they arrive on the scene and above all don’t put yourself in harm’s way if you can.”

You can also encourage the victim to seek help.

“You can talk to the person, you can leave a brochure at your neighbor’s door."

The center is launching a new campaign in January. The goal is to help people better understand the seriousness of domestic violence.

Pitre says their adding texting to their hotline too. 

If anyone is in a violent situation and cannot make a phone call, they can send a text. 

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