Despite a rainy Friday, a line of demonstrators snaked its way along California Avenue in Little Village, chanting “no more violence” and “no mas violencia.”
Joining the 4th Annual Peace March, residents and friends of Marshall Square, a community on the east side of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, assembled to march against domestic violence, an issue that kills one to two residents annually and plagues the lives of countless others.
A neighborhood’s goal to end violence
Little Village is one of United Way of Metro Chicago’s ten Neighborhood Networks. To resolve the community’s most pressing problems, a collaborative of nonprofits, hospitals, schools, government officials and residents have joined together.
Their bold goal is to create coordinated responses to domestic violence, including spreading awareness to identify abuse, counseling services to respond to it and programs to prevent it.
“When people think about domestic violence, they think about it in terms of a person-to-person issue instead of a societal problem that needs fixing,” said Jenny Hansen, our senior manager of Safety Net programming. “The point of the march is to address domestic violence in these cultural ways. They’re saying ‘We can tackle this.’”
Wanda Decwikiel, Co-Chair of the Marshall Square Resource Network Peace Committee added, “The richness of the culture, education and health of the community, depends on our stand against violence. We want to continue to live in our community, but unfortunately many people leave because they don’t feel safe.”