By Laura Katauskas
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 email@example.com 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:
DuPage County Resources
Family Shelter Service:
YMCA Patterson and McDaniel Family Center:
Hope for Non-Violence: 815-726-7964
Will County Health Department: 815-727-8480
Spotting the signs
Information from the Citizens Against 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
Pushing, shoving, kicking you; holding you down
Throwing objects at you
Biting, stabbing, burning, or choking you
Threatening or hurting you with a weapon
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