To the Editor:
“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party” was a common practice text in beginning typing classes on the old manual typewriters 50 years ago.
To rephrase this exercise during Child Abuse Prevention Month 2018, “Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their children who are present to see or hear domestic violence in Illinois.” The Illinois Domestic Battery Act was amended in 2000 to include paragraph C, which added additional sentencing if children under age 16 (later 18) were present to see or hear that violence. Because of a flaw in the original amendment, it was not enforceable.
Fortunately, the Illinois Supreme Court is taking action on this matter now but one more amendment will be necessary to correct this flaw. So, now is the time for all concerned citizens to come to the aid of their children being traumatized in domestic violent homes.
Now is the time to contact our representatives in the Illinois General Assembly and urge speedy action to assist these children in getting support to aid them in their education endeavors and social development that will go a long way to break the domestic violence cycle in Illinois.
If you understand the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, you can understand the harmful effects of secondhand violence. It takes a committed community to raise a healthy child. If we do not do it, who will? It is not a law enforcement problem or a judicial problem or a school problem or a DCFS problem. It is a community problem.
James R. Gillespie