Enjoy a delightful evening of music at the “Love Sweet Love” benefit concert, Saturday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master. “Love” is the theme of a mix of 60s, 70s and contemporary music. Admission is free; contributions made will benefit victims of domestic violence.

On November 19, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, an ER physician, was murdered outside the doors of Mercy Hospital in Chicago by her ex-fiancé. Two weeks earlier she had broken their engagement. After shooting Dr. O’Neal, the shooter shot and killed Dr. Danya Less, a pharmacist at Mercy Hospital, and Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. Those were not random shootings, they were the result of domestic violence by a man who decided his ex-fiancé no longer deserved to live a life without him.  Domestic violence impacted an entire community.

It’s easy to dismiss instances of domestic violence as “none of my business,” but domestic violence is the business of everyone. We cannot turn away from it pretending we don’t see its marks or hear its cries for help.

Domestic violence is used to scare, harm or control a partner both physically and mentally and includes insults, threats, emotional abuse and sexual coercion. A victim experiences “diminished self-worth, anxiety, depression and a general sense of helplessness.”

What can you do? The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers these suggestions:

1) Believe someone when they say they are in trouble, provide a nonjudgmental space and avoid asking irrelevant questions such as “Why didn’t she leave?” Victims of domestic violence will often leave and return repeatedly before a final separation.

2) Develop a safety plan with the individual who is being abused.

3) Help the individual create opportunities to engage in self-care activities, such as reading a book, taking a walk, watching a funny movie, taking deep breaths, praying, singing.

4) Be present regardless.

5) Respect decisions made by the one abused and continue to provide care.

The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office offers much help to victims and has adopted new policies to insure the safety of the victim and any minor children. https://www.dupageco.org/States_Attorney/2094/

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 887-863-6338 and go to their website, www.thehotline.org  for additional information.

Your Church Council and your Director of Music invite you to the “Love, Sweet Love” benefit concert on Saturday. They want all to become better informed about this scourge and they ask for your generous financial support for victims of domestic abuse. Your Church Council also invites us to pray, both individually and as a community for the end of domestic violence.