With the year drawing to a close, the co-chair of the Third Judicial Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council reflected on the impact the group has had on the prevention of domestic violence.
Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, co-chair of the Council along with Judge Richard Tognarelli, said in a press release, “We feel it is very important to look at events that we have organized as well as those in which we have collaborated. We must continue to help people understand the dangers of domestic violence and to give them information on the resources and support available locally.”
The Family Violence Prevention Council serves Madison and Bond Counties. The council provides support and safety for abuse survivors, holds perpetrators accountable, and helps to end domestic violence in the community.
The council also provides education on how to prevent family violence for all ages, from the unborn to the elderly, Crowder said.
In April 2012, the group invited Dr. Diane Zosky, an expert on child development, to speak about children who witness domestic violence.
The council also observed Child Abuse Prevention Month in April with an event teaching people about child pornography victims, and the work of the Madison County Child Advocacy Center.
“During the year we also participated in the Child Advocacy Center’s first annual Kids’ Fair at the Alton Square Mall, and National Night Out at the Alton Ampitheater as well as many local health and resource fairs,” Crowder said.
In October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month more than 170 people attended the Council’s Fall Training to hear Teri Jendusa Nicolai, a survivor of abuse who, in 2004, was left to die in a storage locker by her ex-husband, Crowder said.
The Council’s Community Faith Committee and the Domestic Violence Team at Alton Memorial Hospital also in October presented the eighth annual Memorial Service for domestic violence victims and their families.
“There are many more examples of Family Violence Prevention Council’s work on the community, and we have already started planning for 2013,” Crowder said.
Crowder said that next April, the council will feature a presentation by internationally recognized expert on domestic violence issues - Lt. Mark Wynn.
"We are partnering with the Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission (SILEC) to bring Lt. Wynn to this area, and we are pleased that we will be working with the new Assistant Director, former Alton Police Chief David Hayes," Crowder said.