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Domestic abuse claims 500 lives in Wisconsin

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Almost 500 Wisconsinites have been killed by domestic abusers since 2000. That's according to a group called End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, which released an annual report on domestic homicides yesterday. The group said 52 people died in 38 incidents in the Badger State last year. In four of those cases, the abuser also died.

The 2012 totals were up from the previous year, when 37 domestic abuse victims were killed. The high during the 2000's came in 2009, when 67 victims died. The End Abuse group says workplace homicides appear to be on the rise -- as well as those involving veterans. The group used to be called the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Its director, Patti Seger, said abusers are too often not held accountable for their actions -- and they continue to illegally possess guns. The group said 53 domestic killers since 2000 used guns they were not allowed to have.

A bill in the state Legislature would require judges to verify whether those under domestic abuse restraining orders give up their weapons as required by law. The End Abuse group also wants to revive the idea of universal background checks for all gun sales -- something the U-S Senate rejected earlier this year.