DECATUR, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, is inviting residents to join her, survivors of domestic violence, advocates and first responders to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October.
“Domestic violence impacts every community in this state, and unfortunately it is often underreported,” Scherer said. “We need to bring awareness to this issue to empower survivors to leave abusive partners and to hold individuals accountable for their crimes.”
To prevent domestic abusers from using tracking software to maintain control over their victims and make it more difficult for them to seek help, Scherer supported House Bill 3251. The new law creates the offense of illegal electronic monitoring, or installing electronic monitoring software on a cell phone or tablet as a means to threaten bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint.
Scherer is also encouraging area residents to join Dove, Inc. for a candle lighting ceremony to mourn victims, celebrate survivors and commend those working to end violence in the community on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, located at 201 W. North St. in Decatur.
“We all need to be aware every day of our family, friends and colleagues that are experiencing domestic violence,” said Vickie Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “However, during October, which is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness month, local communities take time to host a number of events that honor those that have died and celebrate those that have broken free of the bonds of domestic violence.”
To learn more about the warning signs of abuse or to receive confidential support from a trained advocate, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Scherer represents the 96th District, which includes portions of Christian, Macon and Sangamon counties.