ROCKFORD (WREX) — Domestic violence accounts for more than a third of all violent crime in Rockford. And in the Keye-Mallquist area, neighborhood leaders say it’s no different.
“We hear the yelling and screaming, we hear the police cars pull up,” Terri Schierer, the Keye-Mallquist Neighborhood Group President. “We know what’s going on there.”
That’s why the group says it is using a grass roots approach to bring those resources straight to survivors who need to pull themselves out of the abusive cycle.
Some of those include Remedies Renewing Lives, Zeke Gorgi Legal Clinic and Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling.
“We don’t want to hear next week, next month that it got out of control,” Schierer says. “A simple pushing or hitting a table could actually kill someone.”
“Long ago, it was always looked at as a silent crime,” Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke says. “It’s in the family and let’s keep it in the family.”
But, Rockford Police say this issue can’t stay behind closed doors anymore. If you notice your neighbor is caught up in the violence, police say the first step you should take is filing a police report.
“We are trained to deal with domestic violence situations,” Dalke says. “Our officers have the proper equipment, the proper training to go in there and make an arrest when need be and then refer people to the right organizations.”
Neighborhood leaders say the next step is spreading awareness. They plan to post signs in the area and wrap trees with purple ribbon.