LOMBARD, Ill. – As Illinois’ stay-at-home order has been extended through April 30, state Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, is highlighting the expanded services available to help people who are experiencing domestic violence and child abuse.
“Staying at home and limiting contact with the public is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19 – but for those experiencing domestic violence or abuse, staying home can be a dangerous and life-threatening experience,” said Costa Howard. “To protect people in these dangerous home situations, the state Department of Human Services has dedicated $1.2 million to expand support services. If you are in trouble, if you are living in a dangerous environment, if you are afraid of a partner – there is help available.”
The Illinois Domestic Violence Helpline at 877-863-6338 is free, confidential and operates 24 hours a day. During the COVID-19 outbreak, expanded resources are available to help connect callers with emergency shelter and transportation assistance.
Costa Howard also reminded constituents that they can – and should – call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline to report suspected child abuse.
“In the last few weeks, there has been a sharp decline in the number of calls to report suspected child abuse,” Costa Howard said. “Unfortunately, we know that this does not reflect a sudden reduction in abuse. Because children are not in school, they are not being monitored by teachers and other school personnel who may recognize the signs of abuse or neglect and report their concerns. If you are worried that a child you know may be in danger, I strongly encourage you to reach out to the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE, or 800-252-2873.”