LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—Domestic violence is more common than most people think.
One in four women is the victim of domestic violence; and it happens in our own backyard.
Last year, New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers served 2-thousand people.
"With victims of domestic violence and sexual assault they don't want to share their story," Ann Kappauf, Executive Director, New Horizons said. "There is embarrassment, fear of escalation, fear of taking children away. So it's a quiet thing that happens and nobody wants to stand up and say I think you're being abused."
"A lot of times co workers, neighbors families, they have a sense," Crystal Jensen, Deputy District Attorney, La Crosse County said.
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services says relationship may be abusive if your partner:
"It's somebody's mother, sister, somebody's daughter, cousin, if it was your friend, mother, sister, daughter, you'd want that neighbor to call the police for their safety so you should hopefully do the same," Jensen said.
"Just the other day I witnessed a man and a woman yelling at each other and I just stopped and watched. I mean it wasn't anything but it could have been," Kappauf said.
Kappauf said the best thing to do in that situation is to ask them if they're ok and if they want you to call the police.
And Jensen reminds us not everyone will want help right away. She says most people will realize when it's time. If someone comes to you she says just be there, listen and believe them.
If you are in an abusive relationship you can call the New Horizons crisis line at 1888-231-0066, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services 608-251-4445, Mayo Clinic Health System Safe Path at 608-392-7804, Gundersen Lutheran Health System Domestic Abuse Program at 608-775-5950, Bluff Country Women's Resources 507-894-2676, Stepping Stones Children's Advocacy Center 608-791-3882.
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