Program highlights how to get help with stalking, domestic violence

IV Leader, Staff

Kim, a La Salle County resident who asked that her last name not be used, comes from a family that she alleges has been stalked for months.

Her teenage daughter was in a three-month relationship last summer, and since that relationship ended, she and her family have been repeatedly stalked, Kim said during a Jan. 31 program on stalking awareness.

“The justice system moves slow,” Kim told members of the audience. However, she is convinced that she and her family will get help during upcoming court dates.

Kim’s personal story highlighted the resources that speakers advocated for during the program, which was organized because January is Stalking Awareness Month.

Leila Siena, the assistant state’s attorney in the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office who heads the domestic violence unit, encouraged stalking victims to make sure police reports are filed on any incidents of stalking and domestic violence.

Victims also should not be afraid to call the state’s attorney’s office to discuss their case or the multiple police reports that have been filed, Siena said. She said she will review police information to see if there is enough information to bring a case.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly addressed changes in the stalking laws.

Susan Bursztynski, the head of Against Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Service, talked about the help and shelter that her agency can give.

Students were reminded that a representative from ADV/SAS is on the IVCC campus weekly. Students can make an appointment to see the ADV/SAS counselor in the college’s Counseling Center.

In emergency situations, students also can ask for personal counseling appointments with any of the IVCC counselors as well.

The program was hosted by IVCC’s Student Services, Human Services program, and ADV/SAS in conjunction with the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s office.