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Domestic Abuse Intervention Services needed now more than ever

COVID-19 “Safer at Home” order affects those living with domestic violence


Despite the cancellation of the 2020 American Family Insurance Championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation continues to have a charitable impact by making direct donations to primarily local non-profits, including those providing COVID-19 relief. This is the first in a series on local organizations that are grant recipients.

The Wisconsin “Safer at Home” order created an unprecedented and dangerous situation for those living in domestic violence situations. Not everyone is “Safer at Home,” and as a result, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, Inc. (DAIS) needed an organized and rapid response to a changing dynamic across the community and country.

DAIS’s services, including the only domestic violence shelter in Dane County, Wisconsin, have become more important than ever for many of the community’s most vulnerable. As everyone spends more time social-distancing and staying in, it has exacerbated the difficult situations of those dealing with domestic violence.

“To best serve Dane County during these difficult times, DAIS has had to make some changes to how we provide services, but thanks to supporters like the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, we’re able to keep working on behalf of survivors and families across Dane County,” said Shannon Barry, DAIS executive director. “For example, we have had to alter shelter operations to provide for social distancing and maintaining a safe and clean environment, while still providing shelter, family support, meals and the stability some of our community’s most vulnerable families count on.”

Critical resources still available

Additionally, DAIS has continued to provide critical resources and technical support to their 24/7 Crisis Helpline, Legal Advocates and Case Management Team 24/7 while their staff are working remotely. Thanks to their dedicated staff and creative use of technology, DAIS is still able to answer calls from clients at any time, provide legal help to those filing for restraining orders, and help survivors leaving a dangerous situation find safe, permanent housing for themselves and their children, all while minimizing in-person contact.

DAIS is also still operating children’s programming and parental resources that provide phone counseling, parenting resources and mental and emotional support to parents who find themselves sheltering at home with their children and their abuser in the age of social-distancing. This program has never been more critical to the well-being of families than it is today.

“These are tough days for all of us, and the need for the services and resources provided by DAIS has never been greater,” said Barry. “This grant from the Steve Stricker American Family Foundation will help DAIS tackle these tough times head-on, rise to the occasion and help those in need as they navigate these unprecedented circumstances.”

DAIS helps survivors; works proactively at prevention

For 43 years, DAIS has worked every day to provide hope and help to survivors of domestic violence and their families, while also working proactively to prevent future intimate partner violence in order to create a community where everyone can feel safe at work, school and home.

“The team at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) are very grateful for the investment by the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation in our work, especially as we respond to the impact of COVID-19,” said Barry. “This grant gives us the flexibility and stability to ensure DAIS is always available and responsive to our clients and their families so we can continue to be light in dark times while working towards a better Dane County for us all, both today and tomorrow.”

For more information on DAIS’s programs and services, visit their website.

In its first four years, the American Family Insurance Championship provided proceeds of more than $7.1 million to 280 charitable organizations through the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation. This year’s contributions bring the total to more than $10 million.