PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) – October is National Domestic violence Awareness Month. Tuesday afternoon, local leaders gathered in Tazewell County to bring attention to the issue.
Tuesday on the steps of the Tazewell County Courthouse, leaders from various organizations and judges held a Day of Unity.
Judge Lisa Wilson, the chairperson of the 10th Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council, says the purpose of the event is to bring awareness and recognition to the ways Tazewell County is unifying to bring peace and justice to the community.
According to the U.S. Department of justice, 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are estimated to be victims of physical violence by a partner each year.
Carol Merna, CEO of the Center for Prevention of Abuse, said statistics surrounding domestic violence are “startling”. She said it takes an entire community to help people experiencing this type of violence.
“Domestic violence goes against all we know to be humane and decent. It is a societal issue. Though it is the lifes work of the Center for prevention of Abuse, it’s a job for all of us,” Merna said.
Ryan Lacerna, Tazewell County coordinator for CASA of the 10th Judicial Circuit, is asking the community to say something if they see something.
“If you know someone who has experienced this type of violence, say something, but don’t come from a place of judgment. Speak up, open a dialogue, be a support for them. Thankfully, there are a lot of organizations in our area doing the good work,” Lacerna said.
A Day of Unity was first created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in October 1981.