Rally to shine light on abuse; support the survivors

By Laura Katauskas

Staff Reporter

Abuse touches the lives of many and many go without the help very much needed.

In an effort to raise awareness and build hope, Citizens Against Abuse will host its 19th annual Rally and March Against Abuse from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday Oct. 12 at DuPage Township’s Joseph and Sarah Levy Center, 251 Canterbury Drive, Bolingbrook.

This year’s theme takes a look at bullying in today’s society. Patrick Dati, author of “I AM ME: Survivor of Child Abuse and Bullying Speaks Out,” will be the guest speaker. In his book he details the lifelong effects of childhood rape by serial killer John Wayne Gacy, the bullying he endured from an older brother and his torturous coming out story as a Catholic man. Dati is an advocate committed to helping victims say three simple words: “I have survived!”

Citizens Against Abuse is dedicated to empowering people and is calling on the community to come out to the rally to support one another.

The group’s mission is to raise awareness of the reality of abuse and to inspire unified action toward its elimination and prevention while remembering victims, empowering survivors and providing resources to those it affects. This annual rally is meant to inspire that action, say organizers.

As Citizens of Abuse indicates, abuse does not just affect a man and a women, but children, the mentally handicapped, the elderly, students who may not even know each other and abuse can take many forms whether it is physical, mental or social.

Organizers say their goal is to bring to the forefront behavior that isn’t healthy, helping victims realize early on that certain actions are not acceptable before physical abuse can occur or circumstances escalate. Withholding information or medication from a person, setting financial constraints, distancing a person from family and friends, berating someone are all signs of abuse.

Pat Fiaccato, member of Citizens Against Abuse, whose goal it is to reach those victims and give them the support they need to seek help, points out awareness is the key. A mere fifteen years ago, issues such as these weren’t talked about, people were unlikely to admit they were in such a relationship and the majority didn’t know resources and counseling were available to those in need.

Fiaccato said they have come a long way but have only just begun in truly educating people and getting them to utilize the tools that they have and get the community to embrace the support.

Citizens Against abuse (formerly known as Take Back the Night) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located at 1112 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. For more information, contact the organization at info@citizensagainstabuse.org or 630-291-9520.

Will County Resources

Crisis Line of Will County:



Bridges to a New Day: 815-838-2690

Child Advocacy Center: 815-727-0710

Childhood Trauma Treatment Program: 800-216-1110

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): 815-730-7072

Groundwork Domestic Violence Program:

24-Hour Hotline: 815-729-1228

Senior Service Center: 815-723-9713

Sexual Assault Service Center:

24-Hour Hotline-815-730-8984

DuPage County Resources

Family Shelter Service:

24-Hour Hotline-630-469-5650

YMCA Patterson and McDaniel Family Center:

24-Hour Hotline-630-971-3927

Abuser Resources

Hope for Non-Violence:  815-726-7964

Will County Health Department: 815-727-8480


Spotting the signs

Information from the Citizens Against Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Verbally abusing, belittling, or humiliating you in front of friends, family, colleagues, or on social media sites

Ignoring or putting down your opinions or accomplishments

Treating you so badly you are embarrassed and avoid family or friends

Criticizing your thoughts, actions, and abilities to undermine your belief in yourself


Being possessive, acting jealous, or harassing you with accusations of being unfaithful

Taking away your car keys, phone, mediation, or money

Trying to control where you go and what you do

Keeping you from seeing family or friends


Intimidation and Threats

Frightening you with looks, gestures, or actions

Threatening to make false allegations about you to friends, employer, or police

Displaying weapons during an argument

Threatening to leave you or commit suicide

Using the Children

Calling you a bad parent

Using the children to make you feel guilty

Threatening to hurt, kidnap, or kill the children

Using the children as pawns in the relationship

Involving the children in spying or reporting on you


People with Disabilities Abuse

Misusing finances or exploitation of funds

Isolating them form other people or activities

Minimizing their capabilities

Destroying or disabling their equipment

Manipulating or withholding medication

Refusing to provide essential personal assistance


Cyberstalking and Cyberbullying

Sharing photos or personal information against your wishes

Reading your email or text messages without your consent

Cyber—attacks, intimidation, and unwanted sexting

Obsessively calling, texting, or emailing


Bullying or Harassing Behavior

Physical conduct ranging from uninvited touching, patting, pinching, or pushing

Saying lewd comments or making unwelcome sexual advances

Making demeaning comments about a person’s appearance

Spreading malicious rumors or gossip

Using obscene gestures, leering, or whistling

Telling unwelcome jokes, using abusive language, or making comments about a person’s age, race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation


Physical Abuse

Pushing, shoving, kicking you; holding you down

Throwing objects at you

Biting, stabbing, burning, or choking you

Threatening or hurting you with a weapon


Sexual Abuse

Forcing you to engage in sexual acts that make you feel uncomfortable

Seeing you as property or a sex object rather than a person

Forcing you to dress a certain way

Forcing you to engage in sexual acts with others



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