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Morris Woman's Club takes aim at domestic violence

MORRIS – The Morris Woman's Club wants to get out the message to young people who are dating or beginning to date what a healthy relationship looks like.

Julie Erickson, a member of MWC said the club has recently changed direction and has decided to become a "working club," one that takes part in the community.

"In the past, the Junior Woman's club used to be more the working club and we've gotten more members and have decided to change our focus," she said.

One way they have chosen to reach out to the community is to host a kickboxing class hosted by Maureen Keegan followed by a discussion about personal empowerment and myths of dating which will be hosted by a volunteer from Guardian Angel Services in Joliet.

The event is named "Let's Workout to Knock Out Domestic Violence" and will be held in Morris at The Fitness Bar, a fitness center located on Bedford Road.

Erickson said the group felt, with Valentine's Day coming up and prom just around the corner, it was the perfect time for students in seventh through 12th grade to have the discussion.

According to dosomething.org, "violent behavior often begins between sixth and 12th grade. 72 percent of 13- and 14-year-olds are dating."

Erickson said learning that one in every three young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship was evidence that an event like this take place.

The event is open to both girls and boys and the club hopes members of both sexes will attend to get the much needed information.

The cost of the event is $20 and the money raised will go to the local non-profit agency Breaking Away Inc. which services those escaping domestic abuse situations in Grundy County.

Breaking Away president Jason Helland said the organization was created in 1996 and he took over as president in 2012.

"We provide temporary housing to those leaving domestic violence situations," Helland said.

He said they currently serve about a dozen clients a year and have been working with an annual budget of about $4,000, with $1,500 coming from United Way of Grundy County.

The class was created for about 20 students, and Erickson said that if they reach more than one class can hold they will offer a second class right after the first class on the same day so everyone can get the much needed information.

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If you go:

What: Let's Work Out to Knock Out Domestic Violence

When: Sat. Feb.11 from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Where: The Fitness Bar 539 Bedford Road in Morris

Cost: $20

For more information you may call Julie Erickson (815) 685-6816 or Kaileen Cummings (815)715-7551

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