YWCA challenges Rockford to a week without violence

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – YWCA Northern Illinois set a goal to achieve a week without violence.

Advocates kicked off the campaign in Winnebago County this morning. Detailed chalk art can be viewed at the Winnebago County Justice Center, Winnebago County Court House and Administration building and the YWCA Northwestern Illinois, with the pictures illustrating hope for survivors of violence.

A majority of violent crime in the stateline is domestic related. Now, one local organization is raising awareness to crimes that impact women and children.

Kris Machajewski, the CEO of YWCA Northwestern Illinois, said that the anti-violence slogans and statistics highlight the impact violence has on everyone.

“One in four women will experience domestic violence, and on average more than 3 women are murdered by their current or former partners in the United States everyday,” Machajewski said. “The numbers in our community, they’re just out of control, and it’s so sad that there’s this many women losing their lives to relationship violence.”

The Winnebago County Sheriff and State’s Attorney are offering their support to the cause.

“In Machesney Park alone we dealt with 40 domestic batteries that we made arrests on,” Sheriff Gary Caruana said. “It’s just staggering, it’s unbelievable.”

“When I was elected, I actually had a designated crimes prosecutor for sex crimes, and what she’s been successful at, and what her mandate is, to prosecute physical and sexual abuse against children, and we’ve had great success in that,” said State’s Attorney J. Hanley.

The hope is to help those suffering in silence.

“If you see someone, or know someone that you believe could be in a situation where they’re in danger, speak up and try to get them some assistance,” Machajewski said. “Talk to them and provide support.”

The YWCA is encouraging people to go on social media and use #WWV2021 and #YWCANWIL to help show solidarity and support to victims and survivors.

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