October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the YWCA of the Sauk Valley would like readers to be aware of both the extent and the danger of domestic violence in our area.
People are often surprised when we tell them the YWCA serves 600 to 800 victims of domestic violence each year. Yet, our community has seen and felt the awful devastation that domestic violence can leave in its path.
We have read in our local papers and heard on the radio about local women and children killed by someone who was supposed to love them. These aren’t strangers in a big city far away; they are our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers.
We would like to thank the employees of Crest Foods, who recently lost a co-worker to domestic violence, for their support of the YWCA’s services. Crest Foods not only gave a generous donation of goods but also made a cash contribution that will allow us to strengthen our services to local survivors of violence. We thank them very much for their support.
As a community, we can support women and children whose lives have been negatively affected by domestic violence. We also can hold perpetrators of domestic violence accountable. As a community, we can ask perpetrators of domestic violence why they are making the choice to abuse and demean their partner. Certainly, asking those questions is better than questioning the victims about why they stay, or why they return to their partner.
Together, we can make an impact on this epidemic of violence in our community and in other communities. To find out how you can help support victims of domestic violence, call the YWCA of the Sauk Valley at 815-625-0343.
Note to readers: Veronica Henry-Redell is director of crisis services for the YWCA.