By Jacob Mathias
A local social media video campaign is aiming to spread awareness of domestic violence throughout Wood County.
The “No More” campaign is presented by the Wood County Coordinated Community Response Team, a group comprised of local professionals dedicated to the issue of domestic violence. The video campaign features celebrities from around Wood County saying “No more” to common excuses and denials for domestic violence.
“No more ‘he said he was sorry,'” said Wisconsin Rapids Police Chief Kurt Heuer in the video.
“No more ‘this is just a big city issue,'” said Marshfield Mayor Chris Meyer.
“No more ‘that doesn’t happen to guys,'” said a male domestic violence victim.
Wisconsin Rapids Family Center Executive Director Sue Sippel said domestic violence revolves around a system of behaviors that one person uses exert and maintain power over another. These can be emotional, physical or financial.
“Most victims when they come aren’t even sure it’s domestic violence when it’s clearly domestic violence,” said Sippel. “If you’re afraid of somebody, it’s probably domestic violence.”
The Family Center offers shelter, advocacy and support groups for victims of domestic violence as well as the abusers.
The Wood County campaign mirrors that of a national campaign that was widely seen during last year’s Superbowl and Final Four Championships featuring national celebrities in the same capacity as the locals.
“We thought it would be just a great opportunity to bring that concept to our county and do something with local officials and local celebs and such to bring attention to the awareness of domestic violence,” said Renee Schulz-Stangl, executive director of the Personal Development Center in Marshfield.
The PDC also offers domestic violence support and services in partnership with the Family Center.
The CCRT is looking forward to creating more “No More” videos targeted at different groups including one geared toward high school students for February’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The teen video would include locals more relevant to them including coaches and teachers.
“Who else in the area is somebody that a teenager might tune into,” said Sippel.
In the last year, the Family Center took in 69 families needing assistance for a total of 134 individuals. Their outreach services including support groups, restraining order assistance and phone support saw 500 people seeking assistance.
Sippel said that the number of those serviced at the Family Center has remained pretty steady but the number of people reporting has dropped. She attributes this to increased access to services like the Family Center instead of law enforcement involvement.
The Family Center is located at 500 25th St. N. in Wisconsin Rapids and is open 24 hours for those in need of its services.