GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Domestic violence incidents continue to increase in Brown County. One group that works to help those victims is Golden House. In 2021 alone, it provided emergency shelter and support to more than 4,700 victims. Its phones answered more than 6,700 calls to the helpline.
Those staggering statistics are part of the reason Golden House has launched a $9.4 million capital campaign to raise money for a new facility and support services. As of Wednesday, $7 million has already been raised by local individuals and organizations.
“I’ve been there. You seem lost and like there’s no end in sight,” said Amanda Boeder. She first came to Golden House 20 years ago as a victim. “I was trying to get a restraining order against my abuser. My advocate at Golden House went to all of my court hearings. She sat with me and held my hand while I cried and had to face my abuser.”
Now Boeder spends her time giving back, letting other domestic violence victims know there is a way out.
“I want to be an example that I followed my heart and said ‘this is enough, I’m done with this,'” Boeder said.
Green Bay police say in Brown County alone in 2021, it was called to more than 869 domestic violence incidents.
“What officers are seeing is they just continually respond to domestic incidents that can range from a verbal argument to a possible physical altercation,” said Commander Kevin Warych with Green Bay police.
It’s a troubling trend that Warych agrees is only getting worse.
“There’s been some very tragic incidents here in the city of Green Bay,” he said. “Some of these homicides were domestic violence-related.”
Golden House’s executive director understands the need for help.
“I think that when people think of Golden House, they think about the shelter. (The reality is) the shelter is only about 25 percent of the work that we do,” said Cheeia Lo.
Lo says now is the time for a new home.
“The thing with domestic violence is that it can affect anybody. It can be your neighbor, it can be your sister,” Lo added.
It’s a new beginning, in more ways than one.
“I have been through so much stuff, and I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today without them,” said Boeder.
Construction on the new building is expected to begin fall 2022, which should take nine months to a year to complete. The goal is to move into the 34,000 square foot building by fall 2023.
During construction, Golden House will continue to provide care and a safe emergency shelter on Green Bay’s west side. Outreach services will be available by appointment or a walk-in basis in office space provided by Bellin Health. Golden House says both locations have security measures in place to keep things confidential and safe.
If you would like to learn more about the new building, how to donate, or the services provided, you can visit Golden House’s website.