Domestic violence exists everywhere and can affect anyone. At a forum on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside, it will be the subject of a discussion from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The idea for such a forum was first brought forth by members of St. Mary Parish, along with the Covenant of Churches, to heighten the awareness of domestic violence. The program will feature speakers with expertise on the subject, and it will deal with a range issues, from legal aspects to agencies who give support and aid. 

It will attempt to answer why those involved in a domestic violence situations choose to stay and how people can help those in need. 

Speakers scheduled for the forum include the Rev. Charles Dahm O.P., Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach; Miriam Ramirez R.N., McNeal Hospital trauma coordinator, Dr. Kathleen Detwiler, a physician; and Angelica Lopez, attorney with the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic.

The intention of the program is not only for those who are victims of domestic violence, but also for those who may know of someone who is having trouble. The problem is not isolated to any particular group of people, and police departments often report that a great number of calls involve some type of domestic disturbance. We never know what goes on behind closed doors.

The format for the evening will consist of opening remarks and short presentations by the speakers, which will be facilitated by Ellen Hamilton, a member of the Covenant of Churches. There will be time for questions from those in attendance. 

According to Mary McGillicuddy from St. Mary’s, support for program has come from not only of the Covenant of Churches, but community members and more than 40 groups which have signed on as sponsors.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the subject and, if we know of a situation, how we should respond and not to look away too. Many times we have read about the result of domestic violence when it was too late.

For convenience the Commons has ample parking, is handicapped accessible and Spanish translation. For further information contact:

Don’t look away. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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