The Pender murder shows that changes in the system are needed

Opinion

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I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Theresa Pender. I hope they will find peace. It is now time for the public to speak up. Theresa Pender is not the first woman to meet this fate, nor will she be the last unless there is a public outcry. Domestic violence and child abuse must be criminalized. Batterers must be properly dealt with and stopped before they murder. This means training for the judiciary, and all who are involved in the system, that violence towards women and children is not the act of a normal mind.

Illinois has just passed the first "sexual predator" act, and we have many fine representatives in the state legislature and congress who are trying to reform this deplorable situation.

Our governor has shown great compassion toward women and children and deserves credit for signing the bills that have been passed. Brutal batterers cannot get a slap on the wrist, a restraining order that they dont obey, probation, and an anger workshop that they don't attend. The worst of them, like James Pender, suffer from personality disorders that do not make them curable. It is time for the public to take action to support our state and federal legislators by writing to them and giving them that support. We have to tell them that enough is enough, that we want broad reforms in domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual abuse. We have to tell them that enough is enough. Because it is.

Muriel Schnierow

Citizens Resource for Women and Children

River Forest

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