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Officials launch plan to support domestic violence victims

91347574_s.jpgIllinois officials have raised concerns about domestic violence in the state, with Rockford police saying that they receive around 5,000 calls each year about incidents related to family violence. However, experts say that police calls do not capture the true scope of the problem, as many incidents go unreported and are handled outside the legal system. Advocates say that they are attempting to make the system easier to navigate and more palatable for survivors of domestic violence, launching a project called the Family Peace Center.

One spokesperson emphasized that domestic violence is a widespread problem with repercussions that cross socioeconomic lines. She noted that unemployment and drug abuse are other types of social problems but not the cause of domestic violence, as many people responsible for domestic abuse are gainfully employed but still engaging in violent behaviors inside the home. She also emphasized that the perpetrator is responsible for their actions, dismissing attempts to link violence to other issues that could provoke a previously unthinkable outburst. She also noted that domestic violence is often linked to other types of crimes and comprises 38% of the overall violent crime problem in the area.

She said that previous ways of addressing domestic abuse have been insufficient to target the problem, especially because the legal system may feel unwelcoming and unsympathetic to many victims. People may hesitate to report domestic abuse due to increased state involvement with their lives. In particular, parents may worry that their kids will be taken away by DCFS or that they will become embroiled in a lengthy court process.

When people are struggling to escape from a situation of domestic violence, it may seem almost impossible to imagine a different life. A family law attorney may help victims and survivors understand legal issues and to protect themselves through an order of protection.

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