Recent domestic violence cases are the latest in a long line of cases plaguing area district attorney offices.
In Marathon County, the district attorney's office is receiving a $68,000 grant to continue funding a prosecutor specializing in domestic violence.
The federal funds are part of the Violence Against Women Act. Milwaukee County and Outagamie County also received grants.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in Marathon County violence against women and men continues to be a serious problem.
According to Marathon County Deputy District Attorney Theresa Wetzsteon, domestic violence related crimes, along with drugs and OWIs are what drives the crime rate in this community.
Because of that, she says having a prosecutor specialize in domestic violence cases is necessary.
Last year in the county, there were 586 domestic violence incidents referred to the D.A.'s office, and 544 of them were prosecuted.
"It's a very high number of cases and it takes a lot of time and commitment," Wetzsteon said.
Domestic violence cases are different than other criminal cases. Sometimes victims recant because they love the person who perpetrated violence against them, or they're afraid of them.
Trained prosecutors understand all of the unique dynamics.
"When you have prosecutors that aren't trained in this area, the cases can go very bad very quickly," said Jane Graham Jennings, the executive director of The Women's Community in Wausau.
Graham Jennings says having a prosecutor who understands the dynamics of domestic violence and has special training helps victims get what they need while holding perpetrators accountable.
Part of the reason Marathon County received the grant, is because of its approach in dealing with domestic violence in the community.
The Domestic Abuse Response Team, or DART, consists of police, prosecutors and victim advocates.
DART members follow-up with victims shortly after the initial call to ensure them there is help available and help navigate them through the court process.
"It shows the collaboration that it's a team effort and we truly are there to try and make their lives better and help them get through the situation," said Officer Bob Wilcox, of the Wausau Police Department.
He says DART plans to do a study to find out if the program is effective.
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