In light of the recent shooting in Brookfield, Wis., and emerging details about the shooter’s past and a restraining order filed against him by his wife, Gov. Scott Walker announced he wants the state to take a tougher stand against domestic violence.
Walker spoke about the need for stronger laws against domestic violence on NBC’s “Meet the Press” over the weekend. Walker spokesperson Cullen Werwie said there should be laws that ultimately stop the horrors of domestic violence Wisconsin has seen in recent weeks.
“Gov. Walker’s goal is to ensure state laws prevent events like the recent tragedy in Brookfield,” Werwie said.
According to Werwie, Walker is currently taking a comprehensive look at state statutes to see what domestic laws can be strengthened and improved upon.
Werwie said Walker is also looking into what other states do to prevent domestic violence. He said Walker is hoping to review other state’s statutes in order to see if there are areas of the law that need to be clarified.
According to Werwie, Walker and the state of Wisconsin have already taken several steps to prevent domestic violence.
In 2011, two acts meant to deter violence were ratified by the Wisconsin Legislature. Act 266, otherwise known as Cindy’s Law, will require people who violate certain restraining orders to be monitored by a global positioning system starting in 2014, Werwie said.
“The second act, Act 32, has given more than a million dollars over the course of the budget for the Office of Victim Services and Programs,” Werwie said.
Werwie noted the money goes toward helping buffer the county costs that are presented with the state-wide Victim Information and Notification Everyday and VINE Protective Order services. The funding supports “continued implementation” of the VINE program in all of Wisconsin counties.
It also created the Vine Protective Order service, which aims to provide timely notifications about all standing restraining orders, Werwie said.
Graeme Zielinski, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson said he believes Walker’s comments are all “lip service.”
Zielinski said Walker has proceeded to support measures that take Wisconsin farther away from a strong stance on domestic violence, arguing Walker has taken actions that do not strengthen Wisconsin against domestic violence.
“Instead, he has weakened spending for services for domestic violence victims and for prosecution of domestic violence crime,” Zielinski said.
Zielinski said Walker has not only failed to support enough initiates that would protect people from domestic violence, but he has also failed to condemn the views of “radical extremists.”
According to Zielinksi, Walker has taken the side of individuals who wish to make it a crime for women who are raped to get abortions. Zielinski also pointed to Walker’s lack of condemnation when it comes to similar ideas expressed by other well-known Republicans.
“He has failed to condemn leading Republicans like Roger Rivard, who said, ‘some girls, they rape so easy,’” Zielinski said.
Zielinski said he believes protecting the rights of a woman who is victimized is just as important as protecting the victims of domestic violence as are any other ways of victimization.
Zielinski added he thinks Walker is not truly serious about dealing with domestic violence.
“It’s hard to believe Scott Walker’s words, given his past actions and inaction,” Zielinski said.