Domestic Violence Awareness


In case you were not aware, October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. This commemorative month was passed into law in 1989 by the U.S. Congress and has been renewed every year since. The idea was started by the Day of Unity first observed in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Day of Unity spread into a week of local and national activities dedicated to stopping domestic violence. Eventually the week turned into a whole month of activities and fundraising. As the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says on their website, “These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.”

What we do best at the Niagara Foundation is connect people, so in order to do our part for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are holding a Niagara forum on Domestic Violence. On Wednesday, October 9th,  Dawn Dalton, Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network and Judge Bob Anderson of DuPage County will come together at Niagara to discuss Domestic Violence from a local perspective. You may reserve your spot here. 

Here’s a description of what the forum will be about in the words of our panelists:

For many years, Domestic Violence was considered a “Family Problem.” Today, we know that Domestic Violence is a serious crime and a shared societal problem.  The crime of Domestic Violence crosses economic, racial and cultural lines, making it  everyone’s problem. This crime occurs every day, in every community in our Country, effecting millions of adults and child witnesses every year.

By attending this program, you will learn what Domestic Violence is; how our legal system can respond to Domestic Violence; and, what resources are available for community members who are surviving Domestic Violence.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and after participating in this program, we hope that you will work with allies in your community to prevent the violence occurring behind closed doors.

Here’s some more information on our panelists:

Dawn Dalton is the Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network (The Network). The Network is a membership organization that unites the community through advocacy, education, and outreach, for a common cause – to put an end to society’s tolerance of domestic violence in all forms.  The Network advocates for systems change, speaks as the collective voice of Cook County domestic violence programs, provides, through its Centralized Training Institute, comprehensive domestic violence training for over 1,000 professionals each year and operates the State of Illinois Domestic Violence Helpline.  The Helpline receives over 30,000 calls annually from victims of domestic violence and concerned citizens who are seeking support, information and referrals.

Ms. Dalton serves on numerous state and local committees and is consistently utilized as a resource of information for local, state and federal legislators. She has attended a White House Domestic Violence Awareness Month event with President Obama and Vice-President Biden, as well as spoken at a US Congressional briefing on the need for men and boys in the work to end domestic violence and sexual assault.  Currently she is leading the Chicago domestic violence community in capacity-building projects such as The Network’s comprehensive long-term outcome measures project, as well as partnering with local hospitals and domestic violence agencies to effectively implement the Affordable Care Act.

Bob Anderson is a circuit court judge in DuPage County currently assigned to the juvenile court. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. Degree in 1971 and a J. D. Degree in 1974. He is the Co-Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Special Committee on Child Custody Issues; a member of the Supreme Court Education Committee; and, a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council. He teaches Family Law at Loyola University School of Law.  He also teaches Family Law at the New Judges Seminar.  Bob has spoken at many Judicial and Legal Seminars and to many Community groups.

He has been honored for his work in the area of Domestic Violence; in the area of Crime Prevention; for his work on Education for Juveniles; and, for his work on behalf of children.  He is the Second Vice-President of the Illinois Judges Association. Bob is lucky enough to be married to Irene Bahr, a Past President of the Illinois State Bar Association, and has 3 children.

Please Join us to bring awareness to Domestic Violence through this special program. Reservations are available here. 

The views and opinions expressed on The Falls are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Niagara Foundation, its staff, other authors, members, partners, or sponsors.