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5K planned to bring awareness to domestic violence


Unfortunately there are countless victims of domestic violence each year in Illinois. The victims come from many different communities and from very different backgrounds. Domestic violence can also come in a variety of forms such as verbal or emotional abuse, spousal abuse or physical abuse. Many times it stays behind closed doors and only a handful of people know about it, but once it is out in the open it can affect many people beyond just the victim.

To bring awareness to domestic violence, a 5K walk/run has been planned in honor of a victim of domestic violence, who unfortunately was killed in the course of domestic violence. The event is being put on by a community action group in Illinois and the proceeds will go to people and families who have been victimized by domestic violence. The children of the woman who was killed will be at the event and think that it is a great way to honor their lost loved one.

There are many victims of domestic violence who never talk about it nor seek any help. However, there are ways victims can help protect themselves from an abuser. A person can seek to have an Order of Protection put in place, which would prohibit contact between the abuser and the victim. The orders can instill legal penalties if the abuser goes to the victim's home or work or comes within a certain distance of the victim. This type of order, often called a restraining order, can also prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim via phone, text, email or social media.

In Illinois there are three different kinds of Orders of Protection depending on the immediacy and length of time needed. There are emergency orders, temporary orders and plenary orders if protection is needed for a long time.

With so many Illinoisans fearing domestic violence, charity events like the one above are held to shed more light on this serious issue. Through increased awareness and legal protections, though, domestic violence can potentially be lessened if the proper steps are taken in a timely manner.

Source: The McDonough County Voice, "WIRC 5K to honor Kathy Simmons' memory," Lainie Steelman, May 1, 2014

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