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DOJ releases 2011 Domestic Abuse Incident Report

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MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice has released its Domestic Abuse Incident Report for 2011. 

The purpose of the report is to provide a snapshot of domestic violence in Wisconsin using data reported to the DOJ pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes, by Wisconsin district attorneys’ offices. 

The 2011 statistics show domestic abuse incidents reported to law enforcement and referred to prosecutors were down 4.7% from 2010.

“We have had several recent painful reminders in Wisconsin that domestic violence affects the entire community. Providing victims with the resources they need and supporting the local agencies that work with victims is central to the mission of the Office of Crime Victim Services," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

The report includes the number of reported domestic abuse incidents by county, the age distribution of victims and information about the criminal justice response to reported incidents including arrest rates, charges issued and sentencing data.

The report paints a startling picture of a problem affecting primarily those between the ages of 18 and 29. Domestic abuse is also predominantly a Milwaukee County crisis, with more than 8,000 incidents in Milwaukee County --28% of all cases statewide.

While law enforcement officials in Wisconsin made arrests 71% of the time when they were called to a domestic violence incident, Milwaukee County officials made an arrest 56% of the time.

Of greatest concern to state Rep. Jon Richards (D - Milwaukee) is the report itself.

"The report side-steps the issues of gun and domestic violence and as we know, tragically from the Azana shooting, guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination," Rep. Richards said.

Rep. Richards says he is he is designing legislation that will tackle the issue of gun access for people with restraining orders.

"We are working on building a coalition right now and working with law enforcement and domestic abuse advocates to work together on a package that would help keep domestic abuse victims safer," Rep. Richards said.

CLICK HERE to view the 2011 domestic violence report.

CLICK HERE for domestic violence resources via FOX6Now.com.