Freedom House brings Domestic Violence Awareness display to Geneseo park

Claudia Loucks
A Silent Witness display in Geneseo North City Park creates a sharp and sad message intended to engage the community in helping putting an end to domestic violence. The display, as well as other efforts in surrounding communities, has been put in place by Freedom House staff

In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Freedom House is bringing attention to the issues of domestic violence with a Silent Witness display in Geneseo’s North City Park.

Red silhouettes of adult and child domestic violence are posted in North City Park, between East Pearl and East North Sts., and will remain on display for the month of October.

Diana Whitney, president of Freedom House board of directors, which is headquartered in Princeton is the domestic and sexual violence agency for Bureau, Henry, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties in Illinois.

In commenting about the display in Geneseo, Whitney said, “The life-size silhouettes send a powerful message, each having the story about the victim. Two of the silhouettes are blank, to represent those killed in domestic violence situations, and are as yet, unknown.”

In addition to the display in Geneseo, Freedom House has enlisted police agencies, local businesses and concerned individuals to help the agency heighten awareness of domestic violence, Whitney said.

Princeton Main Street is showing their support by decorating store fronts with purple hearts, ribbons and anti-domestic violence phrases or themes.

The Italian, in Walnut, is hosting a Pizza Donation Night every Friday night in October when 25 percent of all pizza sales is donated to Freedom House.

For a second year, Tanners Orchard in Speer will stage the “Purple Pumpkin Project,” in which sales of painted purple pumpkins are donated to Freedom house. Members of the Princeton Junior Woman’s Club help Tanners paint the pumpkins purple.

Freedom House staff also conducted a “Dynamics of Domestic Violence” Lunch ‘n Learn training at the Nedda Simon Conference Center Princeton.

Freedom House also is staging a social media campaign with a month of #DVAM2021 posts featuring community members posing with a DV awareness support sign.

Headquartered in Princeton, Freedom House, a non-profit 501 c3 corporation, has satellite offices in Kewanee and Cambridge. Freedom House staff provides free, confidential, quality services to victims of abuse and their families, including a 24-hour crisis hotline (800-474-6031), emergency shelter, medical and legal advocacy, adults and child counseling, awareness and prevention education, and training for volunteers and professionals.

Whiney said in the last year Freedom House staff provided needed services to more than 900 victims (and families) of domestic violence and sexual assault.

For more information about their services or to make a donation, call 815-872-0087 or visit the website – or on Face book, Twitter and Instagram.