Domestic Violence and the Super Bowl

Domestic Violence
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There have not been any official studies done to confirm or deny a link between the Super Bowl and an increase in domestic violence cases. But, the Winnebago County state's attorney's office has been monitoring past statistics and says there is one.

The Super Bowl has been around now for 37 years. And for the last five of those, the Winnebago County state's attorney's office has been reviewing the number of domestic violence arrests that occurred in our area on Super Bowl Sunday.

What they have found is an increase of domestic abuse arrests compared to a typical Sunday weekend. Tom Wartowski is the senior prosecutor in the Winnebago County state's attorney's domestic violence unit and experiences the increase.

"There's no question in my mind that there's an increase. I know that increase is there for Thanksgiving, New Year's, Fourth of July. So, what those have in common are people getting together, families getting together and alcohol consumption," said Wartowski, Winnebago County state's attorney's prosecutor.

Wartowski says alcohol is the number one contributing factor in domestic violence cases. He advises women who believe they are at risk to find a safe place or call 9-1-1 if they find themselves in trouble.

Another organization that deals with domestic abuse issues is WAVE, Women Against Violent Environments. WAVE says that they see things differently and that domestic violence occurs daily---not just on Super Bowl Sunday.

WAVE offers assistance 24 hours a day, by offering both emergency shelter and walk-in services for victims of domestic violence and their dependent children. Legal advocacy, group and individual counseling and abuser services are available.

You can call the 24-hour crisis line at 962-6102.