Skip to main content

Report: WI women's shelter loses funding, police support over BLM signs

"Embrace" has four locations in northwestern Wisconsin.

A Wisconsin nonprofit organization that combats domestic violence is appealing to the public for help, after it says it lost funding over its stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Embrace, which offers support and shelter to "survivors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and sexual violence," has four offices throughout northwest Wisconsin, including one in Rice Lake.

This past summer, as the Huffington Post notes, the organization displayed BLM signs outside its locations, in the hopes that "people of color felt comfortable visiting" their centers. 

This month, the Barron County Board of Supervisors executive committee voted to slash $25,000 in funding for Embrace. They also voted to remove the county's Health and Human Services director from Embrace's board of directors.

A number of law enforcement agencies have also officially ended their affiliations with Embrace; according to Wisconsin Public Radio, they include the Barron County Sheriff's Office, who said they would cut ties with the nonprofit due to its support of "social issues that are negative towards law enforcement." 

As Huffington Post points out, this means that "women who call the police for help... may not be referred to Embrace for help with safety planning, counseling and support."

Now, Embrace is raising donations to make up for the budget shortfall and lack of support. This week, they launched a GoFundMe seeking $25,000 (the amount that Barron County cut); they have already exceeded that goal, having raised $36,000 as of this writing. 

Meanwhile, Washburn County — where Embrace has an office in Spooner — has voted to continue its funding to the organization, with the county board chairman remarking that "we are very fortunate" to have Embrace "serving our survivors of domestic and sexual assault violence," the Spooner Advocate reports. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 9.39.38 PM

Jordan Greenway runs into Darcy Kuemper, sparks fight

Kuemper got knocked out of the game, leading to the brawl.

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.


BLM mural in West St. Paul.

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

Car crash in Barron County, WI.

Alleged drunk driver gets car halfway off bridge in western WI

"Umm sorry but we are pretty sure that guardrail didn’t want to go for a late night swim."

Kevin Jay Karjalahti - crop

Charges: Man left notes threatening violence at homes with BLM signs

The 48-year-old man is charged with three felony counts of violence.

Bob Kroll

Protesters show up at Bob Kroll's home demanding his resignation

Kroll's leadership of the Minneapolis police union has been under scrutiny.