Joliet’s Take Back the Night event shines light on abuse of women, kids

October 7, 2011
By Jan Larsen for The Herald-News

Carmina-Salcido2JOLIET — Several hundred people gathered Thursday night at Joliet West High School to learn, memorialize and take action at the 15th annual Take Back the Night.

Those three goals were outlined by the event’s chairwoman, Katrina Crone of Joliet, who until recently worked at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Her former boss, State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow, said his office is working with Joliet Junior College to create “an education track” for abused women so they can become financially independent.

“Nationally, 80 percent of all abused women are no-shows in court,” he said, attributing it to the abuser’s control. He believes the program will help free more women from the abuse cycle.

The keynote speaker of this year’s vigil and march against violence was Carmina Salcido of Sonoma, Calif.

At age 3, Salcido was left for dead in the county dump by her father, who murdered six other family members in the worst mass killings in the county.

“Her injuries would’ve killed 99.9 percent of the population,” Glasgow said.

Salcido said she “went from the frying pan to the fire,” being abused for more than a dozen years by her adoptive parents. Isolated, she created a make-believe world to survive.

Today, the author of “Not Lost Forever: My Story of Survival” talks to real people, saying the first step to ending abuse is to talk about it. Bringing awareness to the problem is essential.

“Together we are an army that fights violence,” she said Thursday.

Will County’s Take Back the Night committee, which also raises money to donate locally, learned about Salcido through an episode of “20-20.”

A few years ago, Salcido forgave her father, still on death row, because “you have to let go and move ahead with your life.” She has not forgiven his actions.

A consortium of local women’s groups, agencies and governmental bodies started the Will County Take Back the Night event, modeling it after other such events to encourage empowerment. It is held each year at different locations during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.