Clinic Hosts 11th Annual Shining the Light on Domestic Violence
October 17, 2012
Rockford, Ill. -- Northern Illinois University College of Law’s Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic hosted the 11th Annual Shining the Light on Domestic Violence event in Rockford on October 17, 2012. During the ceremony, the Honorable Judge Rosemary Collins, Chairperson of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court’s Family Violence Coordinating Council, noted the success of the community’s coordinated response to ending domestic violence and highlighted a number of successful new initiatives. Judge Collins honored Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen for his ongoing commitment and support of new programs and grants which provide more resources to prevent and reduce domestic violence in Winnebago County.
During the ceremony, Judge Collins thanked the Honorable Judge Ronald Wilt and the Honorable Judge Joseph Bruce for their dedication in the new Domestic Violence Coordinated Court Division. The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office was recognized for hiring two new Domestic Violence Victim Services Providers to assist victims with obtaining civil orders of protection in conjunction with a pending criminal domestic violence case in the court’s new dedicated Domestic Violence Criminal Court. Judge Collins also recognized the work of the Rockford City Police Department and Sergeant Eric Bruno for their leadership in the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team collaboration, as well as the work of the Winnebago County Adult Probation Department for their efforts to establish and convene quarterly Domestic Violence Impact Panels. Judge Collins also thanked Jessica Maveus ('05), Project Manager of Domestic Violence Coordinated Courts, Andrea Carlson, Coordinator of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court’s Family Violence Coordinating Council, and Heather Beaufils, Executive Director of Children’s Safe Harbor, for their tireless efforts to improve their community’s response to domestic violence survivors and their children, and hold perpetrators accountable.
Judge Collins announced that Winnebago County had been recently awarded a $400,000 grant from the federal Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, to create a safe supervised visitation center for children in cases involving domestic violence. Clinical Assistant Professor Wendy Vaughn, who is a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Safe Harbor, assisted the court in applying for this grant and will participate in the Consulting Committee to oversee the implementation of this project.
Members of the community, including the Honorable Judge Lisa Fabiano and the Honorable Judge Gwyn Gully, honored those affected by all forms of abuse. The Clothesline Project was also on display at the event; each shirt hung on the clothesline is decorated by an adult survivor or child and represents that individual’s experience of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
Photos above (from top to bottom): Judge Rosemary Collins addresses the attendees at the vigil;
Judge Collins speaks with David Peterson, Winnebago County Human Services Administrator;
Professor Anita Maddali admires the Clothesline Project.