In This Issue
VIBE Chooses Victim Services
VS Distributes Book During Peace Week
Before It's Too Late
Educating Law Enforcement and Court Professionals
Educating Ourselves & Children About Abuse

VIBE congratulates
WIRC-CAA Victim Services
on its award.  


The McDonough County VIBE (Volunteers Interested in Benefiting Everyone) chose Victim Services and the local Red Cross chapter as beneficiaries of their 2012 fundraising efforts. In the two previous years, VIBE has raised over $150,000 for five other not-for-profit service groups. Funds have gone to Big Brother/Big Sister, the Child Advocacy Center through the McDonough County State's Attorney's office, Youth for Christ, Catholic Charities, and Project H.O.P.E.


Along with donations from businesses, agencies, and individuals, VIBE is raising funds with a raffle of a John Deere Gator. Tickets are still available at several area locations, but you can look for VS staff and volunteers at Hy-Vee on Saturday, October 20. Pick up a form to have 10% of your purchases go to VIBE and buy a raffle ticket at the same time. They are $25 each or 5 for $100.


The final event will be Saturday, November 17 at the Forum with a German themed dinner, and both a live and silent auction. Help VIBE help us!




Helping children learn to get along is the idea behind Victim Services donating the book Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class by Eileen Spinelli to every elementary school and public library in our four county service area. Miss Fox is tired of hearing her young students quarrel and announces that for one week there is going to be a "Peace Week" in their class. She lets the class decide exactly what that means, and what behaviors they are no longer going to do. So, with some trepidation, the students decide to participate. They even behave nicely outside of the classroom, too.


Staff and volunteers will be delivering the books and sharing with a classroom or two before putting them in the libraries. Ask your young ones if they would like a peace week at home, too. Your whole family can be involved.





Members of the WIU Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative, Take Back the Night Committee, WIU Women's Center, Victim Services, and other community members are planning activities for the week leading up to Thursday, October 18, when the 23rd annual Take Back the Night March and Rally will be held. The activities are centered around non-violence in our community.


Many of us think we already lead non-violent lives. We don't hit people. We don't shoot  people. But, let's look at how we deal with conflict with others. Do we yell? Do we become aggressive? Are we passive-aggressive? Do we get sneaky and try to undermine the other person? There are all types of behaviors that may not be outwardly violent yet they are still harmful to others and to ourselves.


Take some time during October to reflect on how you are living your life in relationship to others. Are your behaviors and your words non-violent? Let's make the commitment to not just a week of non-violence, but our whole lifetimes.




A big thank you goes to the Macomb Chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs for the continued support of Victim Services. Over the past several years, they have donated supplies for clients and their children. Children going through counseling have a tough time dealing with what they have experienced or witnessed. Leaving a counseling session, and being able to pick a small token just for them as they leave, has brightened many a child's day.  


Having diapers and other infant supplies available along with personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies is also of benefit to Victim Services' clients.  


An additional thank you goes to the Macomb Chapter and their district board for inviting Diane Mayfield, VS Director, to educate them on the dynamics of domestic violence and the effects on child witnesses, as well as our whole community.


Another big thank you goes to the membership of the Macomb Worldwide Church of God. Over the years, this group has donated supplies, food, clothes, and a monthly check. Without their consistent support, we would not be able to provide some of the basics needed by our clients.


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Before It's Too Late

Before It's Too Late 

"I am not talking about before it's too late  
  and someone is killed."


                                                         - Diane Mayfield, Victim Services Director


When we talk about domestic violence, we often discuss the ultimate form of violence, the  murder of someone whom the perpetrator had allegedly cared for, even loved at one time.  And, we often say we're lucky in Victim Services' four county service area because it's been several years since a batterer murdered a victim, or, in some cases, another friend or family member.  During fiscal year 2012, Victim Services even saw a decline in the number of individuals seeking assistance for orders of protection, shelter, and counseling.  Have things begun to turn?  Have we really seen some of our conversations, outreach efforts, educational programs, and trainings take effect?   Sadly, with the increase in numbers we have already seen for July and August of this fiscal year, the answer is no.  Victim Services needs to continue its efforts before it's too late. 

I am not talking about "before it's too late and someone is killed."  I am talking about before it is too late that someone is verbally and emotionally abused.  Before someone is no longer in control of her own daily life, of what clothes to wear, of when she can go some place and with whom, of whom she can call or even IF she can call. Before she is stalked, harassed on her phone or Facebook, at her job, or on the street.  Before she is coerced to perform sexual acts or participate in criminal activities and face the fear of losing her children as well as her freedom.  Before she is held accountable for the batterer's behavior by her family, community, and even the systems who are supposed to help her.   


Educating Law Enforcement and

Court Professionals...Before It's Too Late

"...taken in the context of domestic violence, flowers on a  

person's vehicle might be the perpetrator's way of telling a  

victim "I found you. I'm watching. You are not safe." 


                                                       - Becky Cox, Victim Services DV Legal Advocate 


Read moreRead more..."Just the facts ma'am" is the traditional approach to working with domestic violence victims in the law enforcement and court setting. Unfortunately, domestic violence cases are some of the most difficult cases to be dealt with by the justice system because many times the facts can be skewed by a lengthy emotional history and perpetrators who know how to operate outside the boundaries of law enforcement. For example, not many would see leaving flowers on a person's vehicle as a crime. But taken in the context of domestic violence, flowers on a person's vehicle might be the perpetrator's way of telling a victim "I found you. I'm watching. You are not safe." No two people are alike, and thus their responses to this behavior from an abuser might range from complete terror, to frustration, to what might be labeled by those in the law enforcement/court setting as "hysterical" behavior.  Read more 




Educating Ourselves & Children About Abuse 


"Many children living in abusive homes are isolated from  

  their peers by their parents in an attempt to hide abuse..." 


                              - Josh Mercer, Victim Services Legal/Children's Advocate

As a community, it is important for us to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of domestic violence.  This year's theme for Domestic Violence Awareness Month is "Before It's Too Late...Educate." This theme is especially relevant to children.  Children often become victims of abusive parents and are sometimes murdered as a means of punishing the non-abusive parent.  Children who are living in homes with violence need to know that domestic violence is not a normal and acceptable behavior.  It is also necessary to tell children who experience abuse that there is nothing to be ashamed of when abuse happens in their home.  Many children living in abusive homes are isolated from their peers by their parents in an attempt to hide the abuse from the wider community.  Children often feel like they are alone in the abuse.  It's important to let kids know that they are not alone.  It is also important to let children know that there are other types of abuse besides hitting.  Making threats, isolation, name calling, intimidation and economic abuse are all ways that abusers gain power and control over their victims.   


Young boys need to be taught early on what is and is not acceptable behavior.  More often than not, a young man will emulate the behavior that is modeled for him at home.  If he sees his father as someone who uses violence and threats to get what he wants, he will learn to behave towards women in the same way.  The good news is that just as this behavior is learned, it can be unlearned. 


It is also important to talk to young women about the dangers of domestic violence.  Although we know that some women grow up to be abusers themselves, the statistics show us that women who are raised with an abusive father are more likely to get involved with abusive men.  This is why it is important to teach young girls to be proud and independent.  A young woman who has a positive self-image is less likely to fall victim to the type of men who prey on girls with low self-esteem.  


If we are going to make any progress in ending the cycle of abuse, we must start with educating ourselves and our children.  


WIRC-CAA Victim Services

The Victim Services Program provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties.

WIRC-CAA Victim Services
P. O. Box 157
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 837-6622 (Domestic Violence)
(309) 836-2148 (Sexual Assault)
24-Hour Crisis Line (309) 837-5555