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Thursday, August 18, 2022

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Harbor House issues Statement following Murder-Suicide in Bourbonnais  

BOURBONNAIS- Harbor House of Kankakee issued a statement last week following a murder-suicide on Cherokee Drive, calling for the voices of domestic violence to be heard:

“Harbor House is heartbroken to hear about the devastating murder-suicide in Bourbonnais resulting in the death of Ruth Menz.”

“We mourn the loss of Ruth, for all she experienced and all she is going to miss because her life was cut short. We mourn for her family, community, and friends who are in our thoughts and prayers during this unspeakably hard time.”

“Domestic violence can happen to anyone anywhere. It does not matter your zip code, education level, gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc. You may not realize it, but it is likely affecting someone close to you right now.”

“According to NCADV, 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder-suicides are female. This form of domestic violence is one of the most underreported as there are no charges filed. Related, as of today, there have been 331 gun-related domestic violence fatalities so far in 2022.”

“Addressing domestic violence and supporting survivors is EVERYONE’S responsibility.”

“If you suspect your neighbor, friend, coworker, or loved one is in an abusive relationship, reach out to them and ask how they’re doing. Let them know you care about them and are there if they ever want to talk or need support. And when you offer that, make sure you mean it and keep showing up. Encourage them to create a safety plan (a personalized strategy to protect themselves and children) with Harbor House advocates.”

“Empower your friend because they know their situation best; they are the experts of their own lives. Help them brainstorm options, build their self-esteem, and connect them to resources that can help like Harbor House.”

“Most importantly, BELIEVE THEM.”

“Do NOT judge them, tell them what they should do, or ask the ever-ignorant question “why don’t you just leave?” Their situation is highly complex, and they face countless barriers. A victim of domestic violence will attempt to leave an abusive relationship 7-9 times before successfully leaving because of the dangerous, complicated nature of abuse. Additionally, the MOST DANGEROUS TIME in an abusive relationship is when they are preparing to leave and right after they left because the person harming them is losing their power and control and will do whatever it takes to get it back.

To learn more about how to help someone you suspect is being abused, reach out to Harbor House.”

“If you are being triggered by this news or if you are questioning if this may happen to you, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and Harbor House is here for you. We are here to walk alongside you, help you explore options, and remind you how strong and amazing you are (because, believe us, you’ve made it this far and have survived things you should have never had to experience). Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to care for your mental and physical health. Please, give us a call for support, to vent, and to be heard.”

“Harbor House hotline: 815-932-5800 (available 24/7/365)”

“Chatline: harborhousedv.org (available during business hours)”

“Harbor House’s free and highly confidential services include hotline, chatline, emergency shelter, counseling for adults and youth, support groups, help with the court system, connections to community resources, prevention and outreach presentations, and more.”

“Together, we can end domestic violence.”

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