October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month of awareness began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a way to connect advocates across the country.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline defines domestic violence as patterns of behavior used to maintain power and control over a partner. This can include isolation, intimidation, coercion, financial abuse, verbal abuse, or sexual abuse.
If you, or someone is you know, is a victim of domestic violence please know that there are resources available to assist. Through the Cook County Clerk's office, victims of domestic violence can learn more about how to file an order of protection, as well as find nonprofits throughout Cook County who are ready to help. One of those nonprofits - WINGS - does extensive work in the northern suburbs. WINGS got its start in 1985 and works to provide a pathway to independence for people whose lives have been disrupted by domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a great opportunity for allies to join in the fight to end domestic violence. Speak out and support those who are recovering from domestic violence situations. Volunteer your time at a shelter or other nonprofit that aids those escaping domestic violence. You can also sign the Chicago Says No More pledge to stand with survivors and continue to speak out against domestic violence in all its forms. Together, we can break the cycle of domestic violence.