Domestic Abuse

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Jonathan Dwyer. As the list of NFL players accused of violence continues to grow, we decided to take a deeper look at domestic abuse, and DuPage County isn’t immune to the issue.

In the wake of non-stop media coverage of domestic violence by NFL players including former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice against his wife, Jenae Palmer, a bright light has been shown on the issue of domestic abuse.

Judie Caribeaux, Executive Director of Family Shelter Service in Wheaton, says exposing the public to the topic through the media is in turn starting a national conversation.

“It has certainly been an issue that has been very secret and quiet,” explained Caribeaux. “Unfortunately, because of what has happened to Jenae Palmer and Ray Rice that has now become a public conversation. So something as terrible as what happened to that family has really elevated that conversation publically.”

A common misconception is that domestic abuse is when one partner is physical with another. But, it can happen in many other forms as well, like emotional, physiological, or financial abuse.

“Domestic violence is really about power and control,” said Caribeaux. “It’s not about anger and it’s not necessarily about the violence piece. Anger and violence are both used to maintain control by establishing fear in the victim.”

This problem is all too real for families in DuPage County. Caribeaux said annually 10,000 people call their hotline and 2,000 women and children use their services.

“One in four women in DuPage County are victims of domestic abuse. If you do the math that equals 120,000 women are victims,” said Caribeaux. “It is a problem.”

Caribeaux, a survivor of domestic abuse herself, knows there are many different reasons women choose to say including fear or denial, but her organization hopes to help give victims a voice and a safe place to tell their story.

Something she hopes Jenae Palmer can do in order to heal.

“I bet, [Palmer] really loves him and that could be another reason why she stayed and it’s not my place to judge her,” said Caribeaux. “I really hope that someone has come along side her just to listen to what she is going through right now and be able to ask questions so she can see her new relationship in a new way.”

If you, or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs help, contact Family Shelter Services confidential hotline at 630-469-5650.

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