On July 10, sisters Amara, Sophie and Cecilia Schaffhausen were killed in their home in River Falls in what authorities say is an act of domestic violence. There were 37 victims of domestic violence in Wisconsin in 2011, according to Susan Wolfgram, associate professor of human development and family studies.
“Our goal this year is to teach men, women, and youth — everyone within our communities — how to recognize domestic violence and offer support to speak openly about it by modeling breaking the silence. This year we are joining others around the nation in saying, ‘no more,’ ” Wolfgram said.
“I am a strong advocate for changing one and having the potential to change a generation. This is why our students are working in the jails and in the high schools doing what we can to break the cycle.”
The Abuse and the Family class, led by Wolfgram, wraps up its community service work with the eighth annual Hope for the Holidays benefit and concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Waterfront Bar and Grill, 512 Crescent Ave., Menomonie. Bingo will start at 7:15 p.m. and raffle prizes will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. The indie rock band The Color Pharmacy will play at 10 p.m.
Throughout the night there will be domestic violence awareness speakers and raffle prizes. Cover charge is $3, including one free raffle ticket; additional raffle tickets are $2. All proceeds benefit the Bridge to Hope domestic violence shelter of Menomonie.
Wolfgram thanked Jason Davis, Waterfront owner, for his continuing support of the event.
“The Bridge to Hope provides vital services to our community supporting victims and their families at a time when they are the most vulnerable. However, funding continues to be cut for these needed services. Help us in raising funds in the ongoing fight against domestic violence and sexual assault. We would like to invite all campus and community members to attend this important event,” Wolfgram said.
The six class projects this fall involved many students from the human development and family studies program.
Samantha Johnson, of Eau Claire, is Hope for the Holidays project manager. She is collaborating with Olivia Schuenke from the Bridge to Hope. Student assistants are Brittany Vrieze, of Roberts; Kate Marks, of Oconomowoc; Janie Peasley, of Black River Falls; and Arielle Christianson, of Fountain City.
Five interactive presentations focusing on domestic violence and healthy relationships were completed in October and November. The locations, student project managers, and student group members are:
Dunn County Jail
• Shelby Hagedorn, of Chanhassen, Minn., project manager; Ashley Doering, of Gleason; Emily Newberger, of Champlin, Minn.; Megan Carr, of Blaine, Minn.; Meagan Krause, of Pickett; and John Sholund, of Merrill.
• Jen Olander, of Clayton, project manager; Ethan Young, of Hudson; Wynonna Isham, of Eau Claire; Karissa Tanner, of Amherst; and Jenna Bednark, of Champlin, Minn.
Transitions Center in Eau Claire for ex-offenders
• Kelsey Wunderlich, of Evansville, project manager; Sydney Hartman, of Faribault, Minn.; Kathleen Kjenslee, of Menomonie; McKenzie Roach, of Eau Claire; Molly Crabb, of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Ethan Henry, of Wales.
New Richmond High School
• Whitney Odland, of Stillwater, Minn., project manager; Kim Sampson, of Hillsdale; Kelli Schindler, of Colfax; Panhia Xiong, of Wausau; Emma Granquist, of Eagan, Minn.; and Royce Libby, of Stillwater, Minn.
River Falls High School
• Lindsey Meteraud, of Superior, project manager; Jessica Nelson, of Glenville, Minn.; Teresa Swoboda, of Chippewa Falls.