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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Sean Stillmaker in News on Oct 3, 2010 4:00PM

Domestic violence has been an increasing problem in Illinois and budget constraints have limited the services available to victims and children.

In Illinois there are 115,000 to 125,000 domestic violence crimes each year. On a global scale one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. Intimate partner homicides, regardless of the deceased, the man physically abused the woman before the murder in 70-80 percent of the cases.

To create more awareness Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed October as domestic violence awareness month. In August 2009 he signed in legislation expanding protections to Illinois workers affected by domestic violence. The Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act cited a study that 74 percent of employed battered women were harassed at work by their abusive partners.

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence started the month releasing their study that surveyed over 900 victims and 50 state service providers. Due to budget constraints, in 2009 service providers turned away over 15,000 survivors and children in need of shelter, a 24 percent increase over the last three years. The report found that legal representation assistance and support was the largest service gap amongst the five regions studied.