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Oliver: Take stand against domestic violence – NW Herald

Think you’re not affected by domestic violence? Think again.

Someone you know, most likely a woman, is suffering physical, emotional or financial abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.

In McHenry County, help is available. Turning Point, a comprehensive domestic violence agency and shelter, served 1,834 clients just last year.

“Domestic violence decreases the quality of your life,” said Joe Kvidera, Turning Point events coordinator. “It’s the police car that comes to that house in your neighborhood, the extra cost because of work time lost, the cost of prosecuting and jailing abusers.”

What does Turning Point accomplish? Here’s one example.

The first person to use the agency’s shelter was a young mother with two small children, Kvidera said.

When she came to Turning Point, she had no driver’s license and had never had a job. In 90 days, she got driving lessons, obtained her license, found a job and day care for her children, and rented an apartment.

“She got a whole new life in 90 days,” Kvidera said.

In these tough economic times, Turning Point has seen increased demand for its services, which include emergency shelter, counseling, and “whatever needs to be done,” Kvidera said.

As state and federal funding has become scarce, creativity and wise spending have kept services available for all who need them.

For instance, a joint partnership with Home of the Sparrow provides the next step after Turning Point’s emergency shelter. The Sparrow’s Point program provides rent assistance and continued counseling so that former victims can move into self-sustainability.

“Because they can’t live forever in a fortress,” Kvidera said.

You can learn much more during the Take a Stand for Turning Point radiothon, which runs from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The event will be broadcast by Star 105.5 from Algonquin Commons along Randall Road in Algonquin.

Friday’s speakers include McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, domestic abuse survivor Carolyn Cox Mahoney, and Karen Battaglia and Joan Rembacz, who are Centegra emergency room nurses. Counselors who work with abusers, as well as a former shelter client, also will take to the airwaves.

“They’re going to tell a different part of the story,” Kvidera said.

Donations during the radiothon can be made by calling 847-477-6167 or 847-477-6687 or in person. Donations also can be made online at any time at

A concert, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, features Alex and the All-Stars and Friction.

Saturday is Family Fun Day and will include games, activities and entertainment.

Eight local McDonald’s will donate 15 percent of their sales between 5 and 8 p.m. today. They are in Algonquin (Randall Road and Chicago Street locations), Marengo, Fox River Grove, Huntley, Crystal Lake (Route 14 and Crystal Point Drive locations) and McHenry (Route 31).

“Fundraising is more important than ever,” Kvidera said.

More than one person I know has been affected by domestic violence.

Chances are, you know someone, too.

So, together, let’s take a stand against domestic violence.

Joan Oliver is a community editor for the Northwest Herald. She can be reached at 815-526-4552 or by e-mail at


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