Domestic Violence Advocacy Group Sheds Light On Chicago Domestic Violence Spike
It’s unquestionable that the COVID-19 Pandemic was a very hard time for many Chicago families, and families across the U.S. With the closures of school and workplaces, and with shelter in place or stay-at-home orders in effect for sometimes several weeks periods at a time, families were forced to remain indoors with each other through the stress of the school and workday, sometimes spending more time with each other than ever before. The stress of health, financial, and mental concerns during the pandemic only contributed to the tension in some households. It is not surprising, unfortunately, that as a result, domestic violence incidents in Chicago and in other cities and U.S. states leaped in the year 2021.
In fact, according to a report by The Network, a Chicago-based anti-domestic violence advocacy group, in the city of Chicago alone, orders of protection (also known as a “restraining order”) increased by an alarming 55% in 2021. In addition to that terrible and scary figure, the advocacy group reports that domestic violence-related shootings and killings increased by 64% in Chicago. Another statistic that shows the rapid increase of domestic violence incidents during the pandemic period in 2021 is the number of calls made to the DuPage County domestic violence hotline. In 2021, calls to the hotline increased by 53%. Olivia Farrell, the Director of Policy Advocacy and Research for The Network noted that isolation during the pandemic exacerbated gender-based violence and stated, “also, some of the more non-traditional supports that folk might normally have were taken away, so it was much harder to turn to a friend or family for support.”
Domestic Violence Assistance in Chicago
If you or a loved one is in imminent danger due to domestic violence, it is, of course, important to get local law enforcement involved and to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency situation. It is also important for domestic violence victims and those living in households where they are subjected to domestic violence to know that they have rights and options to protect themselves and others. Under Illinois laws, domestic violence in Chicago and throughout Illinois is a crime. That includes hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, and choking people within the household, and even can include harassing or threatening a household member. An order of protection, or restraining order, can limit a domestic violence abuser’s access to you and your loved ones. An order of protection is an order entered by a court that prohibits the abuser from doing things like continuing the abuse, sharing the family home with victims to the abuse, granting custody of children to the non-abuser parent, and requiring the abuser to give dangerous weapons to law enforcement to limit access to means of violence.
If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence in your household in Chicago, the experienced Chicago domestic violence lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC, are here to help. The Chicago domestic violence lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC will listen to your side of the story and see if they can fight for you in court to protect you and your household members subjected to domestic violence at the hands of another household member. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today and speak to a lawyer confidentially about your case.