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Domestic violence rally Oct. 21

Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County is set to shine a light on domestic violence with the Take Back the Night Rally Thursday, Oct. 21 in Sheboygan.

Community members will be gathering along the riverfront to honor those who have experienced domestic violence and those who lost their lives to domestic violence in Wisconsin.

The Take Back the Night Rally will begin at Peace Park at 6 p.m., followed by a walk to Rotary Riverfront Park.

The rally will feature local poets including Emalie Kamin and national speaker Jackson Katz Ph.D. Mr. Katz is an educator, author and co-founder of the multi-racial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, one of the longest-running gender violence prevention programs in North America.

There also will be a reading of the names of the victims on the 2020 Wisconsin Domestic Violence Homicide Report and a flower release into the Sheboygan River in their memory. This event is free and open to all.

With the recent release of the report from End Abuse WI, shining a light on this type of violence state-wide is more important than ever.

In 2020, 68 Wisconsin residents aged 3 years old to 73 years old died in domestic violence-related homicides. This is the highest number since 2000, when End Abuse WI began recording these reports. Domestic violence homicides took place in 17 Wisconsin counties last year, with a rate of about one death every five days.

The report also found that 55 percent of the victims of domestic violence homicide were not a current or former intimate partner of the perpetrator.

This means that a majority of homicides in 2020 were bystanders to the abusive relationship. Victims included relatives such as parents, grandparents, siblings and children of the perpetrator or abused partner.

Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County provides services to reach out to those affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse; provides support to those in crisis; and provides education to individuals, families and the community with the tools needed to empower them to live lives free of interpersonal violence.

The organization’s 24/7 crisis helpline (1-800-499-7640) is available to connect victims with local resources and support.

Other partners involved with Take Back the Night include the Lakeshore Community Action Program, Paradigm, Sheboygan LGBTQ Alliance and Sheboygan Police Department, as well as a committee of community members.

For more information on Safe Harbor, visit https://www.sheboygansafeharbor.org/

For more information about the 2020 Domestic Violence Homicide Report, visit https://www.endabusewi.org/end-abuse-releases-annual-wisconsin-domestic-violence-homicide-report/

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