MILWAUKEE – Violence begins at home. Then it spilled over to the public.
39-year-old Milwaukee man attacked during Waukesha Christmas Parade attack, killing six people and more than 60 people were injured, have a history of domestic violence and violence against women.
Experts and advocates of helping domestic violence survivors say it’s a disturbing pattern they’ve seen time and time again in mass casualty events.
“Domestic violence – domestic violence – predicts mass shootings,” said Karin Tyler, violence and injury coordinator for the city of Milwaukee with the Office of Violence Prevention.
Nearly 60% of the 749 mass shootings between 2014 and 2019 were domestic violence attacks or by men with a history of domestic violence, a Bloomberg analysis of 2020 find. ONE peer-reviewed academic research released earlier this year contained a similar finding: About 59% of the 110 mass shootings analyzed were related to domestic violence.
Carmen Pitre, president and chief executive officer of the Sojourner Center for Family Peace, a nonprofit that provides domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin.
Although studies have focused on domestic abuse and mass shootings – not vehicle attacks – but, said Sara Krall, homicide prevention program director at End Home Abuse Wisconsin, This connection is still relevant.
“It’s the same motive, and it’s clear that this perpetrator has previously demonstrated that his vehicle, used to harm his teammates, is still a weapon,” she said.
Earlier this month, the marching suspect was accused of driving past a woman during a family dispute, taking her to the hospital and leaving tire marks on her trouser leg. The woman told the police what she thought man trying to kill she.
He was released on $1,000 bail on November 16 – five days before authorities said he was done with the Waukesha Christmas Parade. Since then, he has been charged with five counts first degree intentional homicide in the march attack and officials are expected to file further charges against him, including Friday’s death.
Authorities have not yet released details of exactly what happened before the driver swerved over the barricade and began rushing through the parade. Waukesha police chief said the driver was involved in a “domestic disturbance” minutes earlier, but did not elaborate.
Studies have found mass shootings often occur after an “explosive event,” Krall said.
“Domestic abusers may be in a state of extreme anger, may be further provoked by the situation that has just unfolded, and may extend the violence to others who are on the verge of destruction,” she said. “.
Shawn Muhammad, deputy director of Project Asha, which serves African-American women in Milwaukee, said he was “not shocked at all” when he learned of the suspect’s history of domestic violence.
“When I see a violent crime, one of the first things I look for is if I have a history of domestic violence. Because there is always a mix of domestic violence with murder and other problems. other criminals,” he said. “So I’m not shocked, I’m not surprised at all.”
Domestic violence: ‘It can become public in an instant’
Experts acknowledge how traumatic the incident has been for those who suffered loss and injury, as well as for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
“Our thoughts go out to everyone who is in shock, grief and grief – especially victims and survivors of domestic violence, who are finding this time particularly difficult. difficult because details have emerged about the suspect with a history of domestic abuse,” said Monique Minkens, director of the Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Termination Agency, in a statement this week.
“We’ve found time and time again that people who use violence against their current or former partners are more likely to continue to commit acts of violence on a larger scale,” Minkens said. Minkens said.
Natalie Hayden, a domestic violence advocate and co-founder of EXPOSED, a podcast about life after domestic abuse, says it’s just one reason why people should care about abuse. family.
“People should take domestic violence very seriously. You see it in the workplace, you see it in the parking lot, you see it everywhere,” she said. “And while it may not be in your personal privacy settings, know that it can go public in no time.”
When Hayden was in the process of leaving an abusive partner, she was working at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee. She changed her work schedule and informed her employer of her ex-partner’s description and car.
“I had to put them on alert,” she said. “I don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Muhammad said men must be part of efforts to end domestic abuse.
“A lot of them are going through extreme anger and aggression, and you know, it’s largely learned behavior,” Muhammad said. “Sometimes it’s mental illness combined with learned behaviors.”
Violence usually continues unless it is interrupted in some way, experts say.
This can take the form of individual efforts, such as reaching out to friends and loved ones who are in an abusive relationship or advocating for loved ones who are abusive. It also means focusing on social efforts, like community support for victims and treatment of abusers, holding people accountable in the criminal justice system, and centralizing resources. in cases with the highest likelihood of lethal violence.
But the first step is to make ordinary people aware of the scope of the problem.
“Domestic violence is a predictable crime,” says Pitre. “The unpredictable thing about Sunday is that no one knew he was going to be a serial killer the way he was. That’s the shocking and amazing part.
“But in other cases, he showed he was using violence,” she said. “We know that violence will continue to repeat itself in people’s lives until they are held accountable or there is some way to heal.”
If you are a victim of domestic violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline allows you to talk secretly with trained advocates online or by phone, which they recommend for people who think their online activity is being tracked by an abuser (800-799- 7233). They can help survivors develop a plan to achieve the safety of themselves and their children.
Safe Horizon Hotline provides crisis counseling, safety planning, and shelter-in-place assistance: 800-621-HOPE (4673). It has a chat feature where you can secretly contact help from your computer or phone.
Survivors can call New York City Anti-Violence Project 24/7 English/Spanish Hotline at 212-714-1141 and get support. If calling is not secure but can still send email, report it at avp.org/get-help and leave your contact information secure and someone will be in touch.
For local resources in Wisconsin:
- Send message to Sojourner Family Peace Center’s Confidential 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 414-877-8100 or call 414-933-2722.
- Milwaukee Women’s Center also offers a hotline at 414-671-6140.
- Project Asha, which serves African-American women in Milwaukee, offers a 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. crisis line at 414-252-0075.
- For Waukesha County resources, Women’s Center provides a hotline at 262-542-3828.