CHICAGO – (April 21, 2015) According to the Department of Children and Family Services, an Illinois child dies of abuse or neglect every three days. Michael Ian Bender, a retired Judge of the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County and now a family law attorney, continues his work to eliminate child abuse in Illinois. Having presided over thousands of cases involving child abuse or custody and support as a former judge, Bender continues to protect the rights of children through legal advocacy and offender education.
“Whether it’s a respected local authority figure or an all-star national athlete being accused of alleged abuse against a child, it’s daunting to hear that awareness of this unacceptable behavior is not necessarily leading to its elimination. It’s an issue that needs to be discussed openly so that awareness leads to education and ultimately, the end of any type of abuse against children,” says Bender. “However, I was pleased to learn that this year, the state of Illinois will enact changes to 16 children and family laws and many of those will do even more to protect and support children who have suffered maltreatment and also educate those who take on the daunting task of identifying and reporting cases of child abuse,” he added.
As part of his personal and professional campaign to end child abuse and neglect, Bender serves as Guardian ad Litem and Child’s Representative in Cook County and advocates for education to break the cycle of violence, which is a commonality among most abusers. That is, many abusers of children and minors were themselves abused as children. Bender advocates a four-step process to end abuse that parents or guardians should know:
1. Accept that positive reinforcement and non-physical discipline are vital for a child’s development.
2. Recognize that physical and mental abuse stunts the child’s growth and negatively affects the child’s future adult relationships leading to domestic violence and child abuse.
3. Understand and learn the difference between commanding respect and demanding respect.
4. Learn alternate effective types of discipline.
In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Bender as a Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County where he was assigned to the Domestic Relations Division, Parentage and Child Support Section. During this time, he heard matters involving child abuse, custody, support, parentage, visitation, and college contribution. Bender stepped down from the bench in 2013 to reopen his private practice and concentrate exclusively on family law, and to protect the rights of children.
About the Firm and Michael Ian Bender
The Law Office of Michael Ian Bender in Chicago provides personalized legal guidance and support through all facets of family law, including mediation, prenuptial agreements, divorce representation, child support and custody disagreements, paternity and parentage disputes, visitation agreements, and division of property. Michael Ian Bender, a former Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, reopened the firm with a mission to end child abuse. Bender vigorously advocates for the rights of children by serving as a child’s representative, guardian ad litem, and attorney for the child, in Cook County, Illinois. The Law Office of Michael Ian Bender is located at 70 West Madison Street, Suite 2222, in Chicago Illinois. For more information about the firm, please call 312-236-1500 or visit www.eliminatechildabuse.com.