Violence Free West Allis
Violence is a significant public health problem in terms of the effects on its victims, the quality of life for offenders, and the economic burden on correctional services, the health sector, and the community. Residing in violent communities is associated with emotional, behavioral, substance use, mental health and academic difficulties – all of which affect individuals throughout their lives.
Leaders within the City of West Allis identified the need to address interpersonal violence leading to the formation of the Violence Free West Allis Collaborative (VFWAC). Key stakeholders including police, fire, public health, hospital partners, local businesses, community services organizations and many more gather to identify data-informed and place-based strategies to target violence in the City of West Allis and specific neighborhoods with high violence rates.
The mission of the VFWAC is to promote a safe and healthy community through data collection, education, leveraging of resources and policy advocacy.
Violence free west allis action plan
The aim of this action plan is to demonstrate the need for violence prevention efforts in the City of West Allis and encourage our community to embrace and implement potential strategies identified by VFWAC. Read the VFWAC Action Plan Here (PDF).
The burden of violence in west Allis
The City of West Allis is a suburban city with a population just under 60,000 and is located in Milwaukee County, WI. Each year there are over 600 occurrences of interpersonal violence. The bulk of the violent occurrences are domestic simple assaults. Additionally, violence often happens at home, making it difficult to ‘see’ violence in our community. This data highlights the need for action and is used to support the development of the VFWAC recommended strategies. However, this data may not provide a comprehensive understanding of community violence.
The map iillustrates the location of violent incidents for 2018 in the City of West Allis. The areas indicated in red are the neighborhoods with the highest occurrence of violence. These areas are largely residential and there is a high concentration of apartment dwellers. Additionally, the homes are lower cost residences and many of the apartments are low income. As depicted, the east side of our county experiences more violence than our west. The location of the “hot spots” has remained consistent over the course of 2017 and 2018.
Developing a strategy
The Collaborative utilizes the Cardiff Model to link, interpret and disseminate data to develop and implement violence prevention strategies in high-need areas. The Cardiff Model uses information sharing identify violence “hotspots,” trends in weapons used by assailants and precise times when violence is more frequent. Learn more about the Cardiff Model here.
Then, VFWAC views the recommended Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Intervention Strategies (link VFWAC Recommended Strategies) through the Social Ecological Model (SEM) to categorize suggestions into actionable ideas in our community. The Social Ecological considers the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors. Learn more about the Social Ecological Model here.