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Honoring woman’s death, family raising money for Harbor House

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A shelter that helps victims of domestic violence has seen nearly double the amount of people this year.

The family of a woman who police say was killed by her husband in Little Chute has organized a fundraiser this entire month for the Appleton non-profit.

“We continue to see the increase of domestic violence homicides year over year. Harbor House through September 30, 2021 has served nearly 2000 clients, which is double all of our 2020 numbers combined,” Harbor House Executive Director Amanda Schroeder said.

It has a 68-bed shelter, offers a 24/7 support line, and provides other forms of assistance such as financial advocacy.

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Elizabeth Wagner’s family is looking to help the non-profit as part of that.

“They reached out to our family, they were super supportive and I just really wanted to give back to them and say thank you for being part of our family and being supportive of Elizabeth and her story,” Amy Duffy said. Elizabeth, who was affectionately called Lizzy, was her cousin.

Harbor House appreciated the gesture.

“The first step to preventing DV, domestic violence from occurring, is awareness,” Schroeder said. “The fact that a victim of this kind of tragedy, their family is using this to fuel support and services for other victims to prevent this from happening to others, is just incredible.”

The twenty-four-year-old was killed in September of 2020 in what police have labeled as a murder-suicide. Investigators found her husband holding a gun inside their Little Chute apartment.

Detectives uncovered text messages indicating a history of verbal conflict.

Duffy has raised more than a thousand dollars so far for the Harbor House by selling bracelets on her Facebook page and she’s encouraging others to give.

Project Announcement! October is domestic violence awareness month. This year I've decided to design a bracelet in...

Posted by Amy Duffy on Monday, September 27, 2021

“Domestic violence is more than one thing. It does not ever have to be physical. You know in Lizzy’s case it was verbal abuse, emotional abuse all the way up until her death,” Duffy said.

As we’ve previously reported, the Golden House in Green Bay has experienced at least a doubling in the number of people calling its hotline.

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