New Program Aims to Raise Self Esteem

Article excerpt

Byline: Lenore T. Adkins Daily Herald Staff Writer

Hollywood and the values it extols about beauty and body image are taking a toll on women's self esteem, say JoAnn Stingley and Lark Syrris, of the Elgin Police Department.

According to Hollywood, love is easy to come by, and women are supposed to be skinny at all costs and use plastic surgery to fix flaws.

That's why Stingley and Syrris are organizing the Women's Interests Network, a pilot program in Elgin designed to combat the Hollywood influence.

"I think women struggle to keep a healthy self esteem," said Syrris, a domestic violence case manager at the police station. "It's the ultimate disease in our country."

The network, open to women 18 years and older, will meet the first and third Wednesday of every month from now until October. The women will meet at the police station, watch a movie and then discuss it over light refreshments.

"It's a way of trying to bring the community and get the word out and how we can be of help to each other," said Stingley, the victim assistance coordinator at the police station. "We want it to be a venue where a woman can have an outlet to talk about things that are on her mind."

Grants from the Illinois Criminal Justice Informational Authority and from the Illinois Attorney General's Office made the program possible. …