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Groups To Focus On Violence Against Women

Jae C. Hong
Women in Los Angeles last month protested violence against women and sexual assault. A One Billion Rising event Friday in Bloomington aims to call attention to both issues. Experts say a billion women worldwide experience some form of violence.

One in three women worldwide will experience a form of physical abuse, violence experts say.

A coalition of local social justice groups wants to bring attention to the problem at a free public event Friday at the Holiday Inn and Suites near the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Tiffanny Powell, program manager for family support services at Bloomington's Children's Home & Aid, said an estimated one billion women worldwide experience physical violence or rape.

"It's happening in our community too. I think sometimes people think it doesn't but it does," Powell said.

Earlier this month, a 30-year-old Nicole Elbert of Bloomington was stabbed to death, allegedly by her husband with a butcher knife as she was trying to leave an abusive relationship. She died before paramedics could arrive. Her husband Monroe Elbert, 50, has been charged with six felony counts of murder and battery. The battery charges stem from an alleged assault on his 8-year-old stepson last year.

Powell said Bloomington Police investigate more than 1,000 complaints a year from women about domestic violence.

The One Billion Rising informational event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. at the airport Holiday Inn. Laura Cordero of Children's Home and Aid said the event is a way of building solidarity among women in the community.

"We hope to have community resource information for them so they are aware there are places here locally they can call on if they need them," Cordero said.

Other sponsors of One Billion Rising are Mid-Central Community Action, OM Tribe and the YWCA of McLean County.

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