ROCKFORD, Ill. – With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, is encouraging residents to learn about the various resources that are available to support survivors of domestic violence.
“In order to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence, we must ensure that survivors have the support they need to help them leave dangerous situations and begin to recover,” said Vella. “This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I highly encourage residents to take a moment and learn about the many critical resources that are available to survivors of domestic violence.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly one in every four women and one in every ten men are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) offers a number of services aimed at assisting survivors of domestic violence, including providing counseling, legal advocacy, temporary food and housing, and children’s services, among other programs. For more information, please visit IDPH’s webpage at dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30275. For those who need immediate help, please call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-877-863-6338.
Since entering the General Assembly, Vella has worked to support survivors of domestic violence. He introduced legislation prohibiting the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services from terminating parental custody of domestic abuse survivors solely due to them reporting domestic abuse. Vella also backed a bill that allows survivors to make civil no contact orders permanent if the defendant is convicted of a sex crime.
“Domestic violence can only be stopped if we are creating a support system for survivors and are educating the public about the resources that are available,” said Vella. “No one should have to be in a dangerous relationship without any options for finding help. Moving forward, I will continue my work to ensure that we are providing support to survivors and working to stop domestic violence throughout our state.”