Domestic Violence Ministry

"Silent No More" is the combined Domestic Violence Ministry of Our Lady of the Brook and St. Norbert parishes. Our mission is to serve as a resource to promote and provide awareness, education, referral, and community outreach to those affected by domestic violence.

Future meetings and information on Domestic Violence will be posted on these web pages, in the bulletin, and from the pulpit.

Remember, you are not alone...

If you are a victim of domestic violence, or know someone who is, and need help, please contact:

* WINGS 24 hr. Hotline and Counseling Services and Emergency Shelter at (847) 221-5680

* National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hr. (800) 799-7233

* National Dating Abuse Helpline (866) 331-9474

* In an Emergency dial 911

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence (also known as spouse abuse, partner violence, intimate-partner violence, battering, and numerous other terms) is a pattern of coercion used by one person to exert power and control over another person in the context of a dating, family, or household relationship.The spectrum of domestic violence includes much more than physical assault. Domestic violence encompasses a constellation of controlling behaviors that include:

* Actual or threatened physical harm, psychological abuse, and forced sexual contact;

* Economic control;

* Social isolation;

* Destruction of a victim’s property, keepsakes, or personal possessions;

* Abuse of animals/pets

These behaviors can occur in any combination, sporadically or chronically, over a period of up to several decades.

Bishops' Response to Domestic Violence

“No person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage,” the bishops wrote in their pastoral letter, “When I Call For Help.” “Violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.”

Causes of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is learned, purposeful behavior and is a manifestation of the abuser’s need to achieve and maintain power and control over the victim. The single most influential factor of domestic violence inadulthood is domestic violence in the household in which the person was reared.

Power and Control in Domestic Violence

Using Intimidation:

* Making the victim afraid by using looks, actions, gestures

* Smashing things

* Destroying property

* Abusing pets

* Displaying weapons

Using Emotional Abuse:

* Putting the victim down

* Making the victim feel bad about herself

* Calling the victim names

* Making the victim think she is crazy

* Playing mind games

* Humiliating the victim

* Making the victim feel guilty

Using Isolation:

* Controlling what the victim does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes

* Limiting the victim's outside involvement

* Using jealousy to justify actions

Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming:

* Making light of the abuse, and not taking the victim's concerns about it seriously

* Saying the abuse didn't happen

* Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior

* Saying the victim caused it

Using Children:

* Making the victim feel guilty about the children

* Using the children to relay messages

* Using visitation to harass the victim

* Threatening to take the children away

Using Male Privilege:

* Treating the victim like a servant

* Making all the big decisions

* Acting like the "ruler of the castle"

* Being the one to define men's and women's roles

Using Economic Abuse:

* Preventing the victim from getting or keeping a job

* Making the victim ask for money

* Giving the victim an allowance

* Taking the victim's money

* Not letting the victim know about or having access to family income

Using Coercion and Threats:

* Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the victim

* Threatening to leave the victim, to commit suicide, to report the victim to welfare

* Making the victim drop charges

* Making the victim do illegal things

Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence

Myth: Drugs, alcohol,stress, mental illness, unemployment, children, childhood trauma...cause domestic violence

Fact: Domestic Violence is about power and control, many factors can aggravate domestic violence, but are not causes

Myth: Abusers lose control, they cannot help themselves.

Fact: Abusers choose tactics to control their partners

Fact: Abusers will not attempt to change until they are confronted and held responsible

Myth: The abused or battered partner is the cause of the abuse

Fact: Victims do not cause abuse

Fact: Abusers are responsible for their behavior

Myth:Being silent and pleasing the abuser can control an abuser's behavior

Fact: Silence only protects the abuser

Fact: Silence keeps the victim isolated and alone

Cycle of Violence


* This feels like walking on eggshells. Nothing is right.

* There is no way to predict what the abuser wants.

* While there may not be physical violence at this point, there is emotional abuse, intimidation, and threats.

* Fear of violence is often as coercive as violence itself.


* This is the actual violent episode

* It includes the physical, emotional or sexual abuse

* A crime may be committed

The "Honeymoon":

* Abusers act differently after the violent episode

* Some ignore or deny the violence occurred

* Some blame their "anger" on something the victim said or did

* Some fear losing the victim and act sorry

* The abuser will try to make up for his violence

* To try to make up for the violence, the abuser may act sorry, send flowers, buy presents, help with the housework and the kids,go to church, agree to counseling, make promises

* The abuser may seek pity

* It is important to realize that this is an attempt to draw you back into the relationship where the cycle of violence continues

Signs and Symptoms


* depression, passivity, anxiety, panic, drug use

* health issues, bruises, eating disorders, sleep disorders

* isolation from family, friends, church

* poor job performance

* making excuses for partner

* denial of seriousness of situation, minimization

* withdrawal

Witnesses- Children:

* suffer from fear, anxiety, depression

* grow or develop at a slower rate

* have difficulty learning in school

* Post-traumaic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)

* hyperactivity

* withdrawal

Why Victims Stay

* many do not know it is domestic violence

* they believe they deserve it

* believe the abuser will change

* children

* economic dependence

* lack of resources and support

* identity- need a partner

* denial

* threats and fear

* responsibility to save marriage

* learned helplessness

* shame and humiliation

* love

* duty

* marriage vows

* religious beliefs

Mindset of Perpetrators

* Abusers are found in all:

* races

* sexual orientations

* religions

* neighborhoods

* socio-economic groups

* ethnicities

* educational levels

* professions and walks of life

* Abusers are Jealous

* Abusers contend that jealousy is an expression of love.

* They are often jealous of children, family and friends

* They often check up and demand checking in with them

* Abusers Tend to Have a Jekyll-and-Hyde Personality

* They tend to be charming.

* They appear nice

* They are smart

* They know how to hide the abuse well

* They are destructive

* Abusers Tend to be Overly Sensitive and Little Things Set them Off (for example)

* "You burned the toast."

* "The kids are making too much noise."

* "He looked at you!."

* Abusers Often Claim to be the Victim (for example)

* "It isn't me, it is you!"

* "You made me so mad! It is your fault I am the way that I am."

* "I was just defending myself!."


Archbishop Cupich homily on domestic violence at the Cathedral on Oct 29, 2016.