Donor Spotlight: Tracy Zirin
Tracy Zirin proudly supports SHALVA and is passionate about providing domestic violence education and a safe, confidential place for survivors to receive specialized care. She recently hosted an awareness program in her home on speaking to adult children about healthy relationships.
So, why does Tracy support SHALVA?
“I was first exposed to SHALVA through a poster on the back of a bathroom stall door at my synagogue. I couldn’t fathom that this was a necessary service in my Northshore Jewish community. Then I was invited to a salon at a friend’s home to learn more. I went as a favor… but was so moved by what I heard that I felt compelled to get involved. The victims of this violence were my neighbors, maybe my acquaintances or even my friends. In a community where many women are too ashamed to admit the need for this kind of help, SHALVA is a safe, anonymous haven. I feel blessed to be a part of a loving and supportive relationship and family. It feels right to help those who may not have these advantages.”
Thank you, Tracy, for all you have done to make our community safer.
These are the words of Jessica Gonzalez, whose three young daughters were killed after being abducted by their father in violation of an order of protection. At our Wednesday, June 19 Annual Luncheon, we will be exploring how this landmark case has created change around the world.
Q: How do I get an Order of Protection?
A: In emergency situations, Illinois courts will issue an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), which is a short-term protection order that usually lasts for 21 days. The alleged abuser is given (“served”) a copy of this order and is required to appear in court when the EOP is due to expire. At that time, there will be a hearing, and a survivor can ask for a Plenary (issued after a hearing) Order of Protection. This order sets out protections for the survivor and can last up to two years.
Q: How exactly am I protected under a protection order?
A: The order of protection can protect you, your children, other family members, roommates, your current significant other and your pets, and can include:
- No contact – Prohibiting the abuser from having any contact with you, including calling, texting, emailing, stalking, or attacking
- Stay away – Ordering the abuser to stay from your work, school, or other specific locations
- Move out – Requiring the abuser to move out of the home you share
- Firearms – Requiring the abuser to surrender any guns and prohibiting the purchase of guns
- Counseling – Ordering the abuser to attend counseling, such as batterer’s education
- Children – Temporary decision for where the children will live and visitation rights
- Personal Property – Giving you certain personal property and prohibiting the abuser from damaging, destroying or selling certain personal property
Q: What if my abuser violates the protection order?
A: A 2010 study of protective orders found that between half and two-thirds are violated. So, while OPs can empower survivors and provide safety, the orders can also be violated if the abuser believes they are above the law. If your abuser is a repeat offender, or there is a serious violation, felony charges will most likely be filed. Otherwise, the offender will be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or contempt of court.
Join us at our June 19 Annual Luncheon to learn how one woman, Jessica Gonzalez, turned her devastating loss into a pursuit of justice for domestic violence survivors with legislation that resulted from her advocacy. Jessica’s story is documented in the film HOME TRUTH, which luncheon attendees can view. Her attorney, Carrie Bettinger-López, will be addressing Jessica’s case as well as new efforts to make freedom from domestic abuse a basic human right. You won’t want to miss it! For more information and to register, click here.