Janesville woman's death serves as reminder
JANESVILLE The day after police arrested a Janesville man on suspicion of killing his wife, a man called the YWCA of Rock County seeking help.
"The Y took a call from a male who said, 'I am abusing my wife. I need help. I want to stop this,'" said Allison Hokinson, the executive director of the YWCA of Rock County.
Police on Wednesday arrested Krystofer R.R. Carlisle, 54, of 315 W. Racine St., Janesville, on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide. Police think Carlisle killed his estranged wife, Traci Moyer, 45, of Janesville.
Police and a daughter of Moyer found Moyer dead from strangulation in a bedroom in Carlisle's home. Her car was running in the driveway.
It's not clear if the man who called the YWCA on Thursday was motivated by what police believe is Janesville's second domestic homicide this year.
The YWCA provides services, including emergency shelter, for victims of abuse. They rarely hear from abusers, and don't provide services for abusers. A YWCA worker suggested the man call the Rock County Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Hokinson said.
That office also got a call Thursday from a man seeking help to stop abusing his family, said Kris Koeffler, the county's domestic violence program director.
"He said, 'I'm scared by the kind of violence that's been happening,'" Koeffler said.
Koeffler's office provides pretrial diversion programming for people accused of domestic violence. Most referrals come from the courts, but some come from individuals such as the man who called Thursday.
"It is a brave and insightful person who wants to make those kind of changes," Koeffler said. "In my experience, people who are using violence, they have no personal peace. They will be much happier if they can make the changes in their life."
Abuse isn't always physical, but it is always about power and control, Hokinson said.
Moyer recently had filed for a divorce, and she and her daughters had moved out of the Racine Street home.
Leaving an abuser is a dangerous time for victims, Hokinson said. Abusers might try to regain control, she said.
"Domestic homicide is the ultimate in power and control," Hokinson said. "Abusers are saying, 'If I can't have you, no one can.'"
YWCA caseworkers can help victims create plans to safely leave abusive situations, Hokinson said. For starters, victims could pack a suitcase and keep it at a friend's house along with important family documents and an extra set of keys, she said.
Victims should know that calling the YWCA doesn't automatically mean that loved ones will be arrested, or that children will be taken away or that victims will have to move into the shelter, she said.
Sometimes, just information can help, she said. In Wisconsin, 90 percent of women who have used shelter services have reported feeling more knowledgeable and safer, she said.
"We are there for the safety and comfort of victims and their children," she said.
While most domestic violence happens behind closed doors, stopping it is the responsibility of a community, Hokinson said.
"It is never OK to allow (behavior) to escalate to verbal and physical abuse," Hokinson said.
That message must come from health care institutions, schools, social services, law enforcement agencies, attorneys and members of the clergy, among other professionals, she said.
More than that, it must come from the friends and neighbors of families in unhealthy situations, she said.
"As citizens, we need to be raising our consciousness and raising our courage to be able to say to a woman or a man, 'Here's help. Here's where you can seek guidance,'" Hokinson said. "'Here's where you can heal.'"
To get help
Resources are available for people who need to leave a violent situation or want to help a friend.
Most advocacy websites warn readers to search the web for help only from a safe computer. Sites also urge readers to call 911 if they are in immediate danger.
In Rock County:
-- The YWCA of Rock County. In Janesville, call 608-752-2583. In Beloit, call 608-365-1119. Visit ywca.org.
The YWCA has volunteer opportunities available and welcomes donations of cash and household items. Call 608-752-5445.
-- The Janesville Police Department Domestic Violence Intervention Team. Call 608-290-5261.
-- The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Visit wcadv.org.
-- If you are abusing or controlling members of your family and you want to stop, you could get help from the Rock County Domestic Violence Intervention Program provides programming for offenders. Call 608-757-5677. Visit www.co.rock.wi.us and click on the deferred prosecution link.