Domestic Violence Experts Say It's Everyone's Problem
Singh, Shruti Date, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Shruti Date Singh Daily Herald Staff Writer
The Northwest suburban community must take the next steps to prevent domestic violence in its neighborhoods, people on the front lines said Friday.
A seminar, "Breaking the Silence on Domestic Violence: Community Response," was held in the Wojcik Conference Center at Harper College Friday, where experts called on average citizens to take action against this societal problem.
The seminar was sponsored by state Sen. Wendell Jones, a Palatine Republican, and Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
"I find the wider community is not involved," said Desmond Raftery, a social worker with the Elk Grove Police Department. Raftery works with domestic abuse victims on a daily basis. "We can only do so much."
Several panelists at the seminar Friday morning in the Palatine community college suggested ways the community could involve and educate itself.
For starters, interest more men in the problem of domestic abuse, they said. Out of 75 seminar attendees, just a handful were men.
"Isn't it amazing there are only five men in this room?" said Paul Pavlus, deputy supervisor for the domestic violence division of the state attorney's office.
"It isn't just a woman's issue," he said. Other groups also can help, officials said.
Elk Grove High School Vice Principal Denise Claessens challenged school counselors and educators to press for answers when they see a student showing symptoms of domestic abuse.
The Rev. Deborah Shamlin called on area congregations and clergy to recognize that it is not necessarily the woman's fault if a marriage is broken. …