MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State officials say victims of domestic abuse are staying longer in shelters and seeking more assistance.

The Department of Children and Families says the number of victims staying in domestic-abuse shelters is roughly constant, but those victims are staying 12 percent longer.

Shannon Barry is the executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Madison. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio her shelter is feeling the effects of that trend.

She says many victims are reporting more severe violence, more stalking and more death threats. They require longer shelter stays with more intensive support.
Carmen Pitre is with the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee. She says she's seeing the same trend.

Barry and Pitre both attribute the situation to a challenging combination of poverty and unemployment.