On Thursday, October 7, Commissioner Alma Anaya (D-7) and Commissioner Scott Britton (D-14) introduced and passed a resolution recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness month. Through the Resolution, the Board committed to continuing to raise awareness of the devastating effects of domestic violence on survivors, families, and communities, and to advancing evidence-based solutions to prevent abuse, prosecute perpetrators, and support victims and their families.
“Too often, victims of domestic violence are forced to live in the shadows,” said President Preckwinkle. “As a government, we have an obligation to shine a light on this issue and remind folks that there are resources to assist survivors. At Cook County, we’re committed to reaching out with a helping hand and supporting our residents in their times of greatest need.”
In the Resolution, the Cook County Board of Commissioners also commended domestic violence victim advocates, victim service providers, crisis hotline staff and first responders for their compassionate support of survivors of domestic violence. In addition, the Commissioners invited all residents throughout Cook County to speak out against domestic violence, assist victims in finding the help and healing they need, and work collaboratively to ending domestic violence in all communities.
“Through active participation in my parish’s domestic violence outreach, the support of domestic violence survivors has become an issue of the utmost importance to me. This is the second year I have worked with my colleagues to pass a resolution recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I am grateful for their partnership in shining a light on this issue. I will continue to work to improve County systems that support survivors and their families and provide opportunities to empower residents to learn about this important issue and potentially save a life,” Commissioner Britton said.
“Domestic violence continues to impact communities across the country, and it has been further intensified during the current COVID-19 pandemic – where a sharp increase of incidents continues to be reported. This generational violence has developed a cycle of abuse that impacts our communities. I am proud to stand with my fellow Commissioners, not only to expand awareness but to take instrumental actions to increase resources and funding for projects that meaningfully address the needs. Furthermore, I will continue to work with my colleagues and advocates to improve access and enhance services for domestic violence survivors including court services that are in dire need,” Commissioner Anaya said.
In Illinois 37.7% of women and 25.90% of men will experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes, According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 2020, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline received 28,749 calls for help, a 16% increase from the previous year.
“The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, on behalf of our 30 member organizations, commends the Cook County Board for recognizing domestic violence awareness month,” said The Network’s Executive Director Amanda Pyron. “In 2020, 1800 adult survivors and 1400 child survivors in suburban Cook County were turned away from services due to a lack of available services. It is critical that we address this need from a holistic, community-based perspective so that all survivors have access to resources that feel safe to them. We appreciate the support of the Board in these efforts.”
“SHALVA is grateful to the Cook County Board for recognizing the importance of raising awareness about domestic violence. Knowledge and understanding of the issue is often the first step to saving lives. SHALVA, along with the other direct service agencies in Cook County, provide resources and support to help survivors find safety and healing. However there is still great unmet need. Domestic violence is a community issue and we all must work together for real change,” SHALVA Executive Director Carol Ruderman said.
President Toni Preckwinkle, Commissioners Frank Aguilar, Luis Arroyo, John Daley, Dennis Deer, Bridget Degnen, Brandon Johnson, Bill Lowry, Brandon Johnson, Donna Miller, Kevin Morrison, Sean Morrison, Stanley Moore, Peter Silvestri, Deborah Sims, Larry Suffredin co-sponsored the Resolution.
On October 5, Commissioner Britton hosted a Domestic Violence Awareness Month panel discussion with SHALVA, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
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