“Week Without Violence” supporters head to the Rockford docks


One in four women experiences severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner in her lifetime. The same is true for one in seven men.

Worse still, a woman is beaten every 12 seconds in the United States by her intimate partner.

These alarming statistics were shared Tuesday by local Christian Wanland Young Women’s Christian Association Director of Family Services, during the organization’s annual Chalk Without Violence Week event held outside the Winnebago County Justice Center.

Several messages, such as “Love is not abuse,” “Break the silence,” and “Not on (our) television screens. Not in our streets,” were written in chalk on the sidewalk outside the Justice Center to support survivors of domestic crimes. And sexual violence.

“Leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest part, and it’s also the most dangerous,” Wanland said. “But there are resources out there.”

more: Rockford receives more than $1 million in federal funds to help combat domestic violence

One such resource is the YWCA’s Partner Abuse Intervention Program, which works with male perpetrators by providing domestic violence classes.

“So, we work side by side to get referrals and send referrals to other community agencies when we have victims that we work with but also on the offender side as well,” Wanland said.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but the public is asked to be aware daily of incidents of domestic or sexual violence.

“If you know someone who is going through a situation where they may be the perpetrator or the victim, speak up and say something,” Wanland said. “Encourage them to access resources, ask for help, and be there as their support system.

“Be aware of your local community shelters and places you can ask for help. These are great resources.”

Week Without Violence is part of a global movement among YWCAs across the country and around the world.

Throughout this week, the YWCA of Northwest Illinois will host events, share information and stories and advocate for a common goal: ending violence against women and girls.

The YWCA reaches 1 million women, girls and their families through more than 194 local associations in 45 states and the District of Columbia, providing domestic and sexual violence services through its 12,500 employees and 52,000 volunteers.

Chris Green: 815-987-1241; cgreen@rrstar.com; @chrisfgreen

This article originally appeared on the Rockford Register Star: “Week Without Violence” supporters head to the Rockford docks

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