In 2014, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that Wisconsin enacted three new laws related to domestic violence. The incident that allegedly sparked one of the proposed laws included the fatal shooting of a woman by her estranged husband at a spa. The new laws put the following measures in place:
- Provided a clear process to confiscate an abuser’s guns
- Mandated that officers must inform victims of their options
- Required police officers to track no-arrest incidents after a domestic violence call
Lawmakers hoped these laws would help to reduce incidents of domestic violence in the state, particularly those that resulted in deaths. This does not seem to be the case.
In February of this year, FOX6 News reported that the Department of Justice’s most recent statistics showed 21,000 arrests between 2013 and 2017 following 30,000 reports. This resulted in 11,538 people facing charges. The most common charges ranged from disorderly conduct to misdemeanor battery.
The numbers dwindled down thereafter. Of the 11,538 people charged, only 7,626 faced convictions. Even less of them served any time in jail or prison at just 2,505. Some professionals believe the number of domestic violence incidents is much higher. Many people choose not to report the incidents. Instead, they try to leave quietly. This brought 12,000 people to one particular center in Milwaukee.
Those who studied the data pointed out that 2017 saw a much lower rate of prosecutions than in 2013. This, however, does not indicate a trend of domestic violence becoming less prevalent. Instead, experts believe it results partially from the fact that there were far more reports made in 2017 that officers needed to investigate.