Cook County, IL-(ENEWSPF)- President Preckwinkle joined Cook County officials and non-profit leaders to announce nearly $5 million in grants awarded under the Cook County Domestic Violence Intervention and Support Services Initiative.
“Forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, have silently impacted our communities for generations,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are making an important investment in programs and services for survivors and their families. We commit to supporting and empowering our residents impacted by gender-based violence. We pledge to increase access to the services that address the ongoing need in our communities.”
The Domestic Violence Intervention and Support Services Initiative is an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) supported program. It is designed in response to the increased levels of gender-based violence experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards range from $132,000 to $1.5 million and support the provision of services through September 2025. Additional grant awards under the Domestic Violence Intervention and Support Services are anticipated, pending funding availability.
Domestic Violence Impacts Everyone
“Domestic violence is an issue that affects all of us – whether you are a direct survivor or not,” said Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya. “As a County, it is critical that we invest in programs and organizations that will provide a lasting impact in the lives of those affected by abuse. Survivors need access to critical resources, including social, emotional, physical, and mental health resources. I’m grateful to the Justice Advisory Council for investing in programs that will help survivors, their families, and our communities. May we continue to place survivors at the forefront of our work.”
“The Domestic Violence Intervention & Support Services initiative is necessary. I’m proud to have voted to fund this important American Rescue Plan programming,” said Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller. “I have worked with several organizations in my district to uplift this critical work. I am happy to see providers in the south suburbs such as ANEW: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse receiving grant funding to provide domestic violence services because logistics matter, and making it easier to access these services is vital.”
Initiative Managed by the Justice Advisory Council
The Justice Advisory Council (JAC) manages the initiative. The JAC leads Cook County’s community safety policy and grant initiatives, including investments in gun violence prevention and reentry services. The Domestic Violence Intervention and Support Services Initiative supports community-based organizations. It provides a variety of services that support survivors of domestic violence and their families. Funded services include:
- crisis hotline staffing,
- therapeutic and counseling services,
- case management and referrals,
- legal support and advocacy,
- housing support, shelters,
- and rapid re-housing.
In response to the reported need, there is an emphasis on housing. Also, we emphasize related supportive services for survivors navigating challenges in their homes.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home and relationships. Still, 1 in 4 women in our country experience physical intimate partner violence,” said Avik Das, Executive Director of the JAC. “We commit to addressing domestic and intimate partner violence with culturally responsive interventions and services. In designing this initiative, we listened to advocates and survivors. We are investing in community-based programs and services that can help restore safety. We can break cycles of trauma that have impacted many members of our communities.”
In 2024, eight community-based organizations across Cook County received a grant award under the initiative. The organizations that received grant funding are
- American Indian Health Services of Chicago,
- ANEW: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse,
- The Crisis Center for South Suburbia,
- Mujeres Latinas En Acción,
- The Network Advocating Against Domestic Violence,
- Sarah’s Inn and WINGS Program, Inc.
“We know Domestic Violence to be a critical issue across all cultures, communities, and peoples, yet so many are unseen and afraid to speak,” said Dr. Albert Mensa, Director of the American Indian Health Services of Chicago (AIHSC). “Few recognize that there are over 50,000 Native Americans in Chicagoland and more than 50 percent of Native households are subject to this life-threatening issue. At AIHSC, we not only believe in treatment, but we also focus on prevention. Giving voice to the afraid, building capacity for the paralyzed, and providing education to all is what this grant award will help us facilitate.”
Reduce Negative Impacts of Domestic Violence
“For 50 years, Mujeres has provided culturally specific, trauma-informed services to communities in need in Chicago and surrounding western suburbs of Cook County,” says Linda X. Tortolero, President and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción. “This year, the funding from the Cook County Justice Advisory Council will help build equitable access to mental health services that will aim to reduce and prevent the negative impacts of family violence as we continue to support building healthier and safer communities for all.”
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in the 1980s. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the national and local level. Throughout October, leaders, advocates, survivors, and communities come together to educate and raise awareness as well as advocate for policies, practices, and programs that address forms of gender-based violence, including domestic and intimate partner violence.
To learn more about the Cook County Domestic Violence Intervention and Support Services Initiative, visit CookCountyil.gov/JACGrants. More information on Domestic Violence is available from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Network Advocating Against Domestic Violence. The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline is 877-863-6338.