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Illinois gets $1.3M for to support domestic violence victims as arrests spike

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ILLINOIS (HOI) -- Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday that Illinois is getting more than $1.3 million in federal funds through the CARES Act to help victims of domestic violence.

This comes as Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell says bookings for domestic violence has more than doubled from this time last year.

Since the pandemic began, the shelter at the Center for Prevention of Abuse has been between 50% and 75% capacity.

While those numbers aren't unusually high for them, but the Executive Director says they expect to see a dramatic increase as stay-at-home restrictions ease and people return to work.

"Isolation works in favor of the abuser," Executive Director Carol Merna said in a statement, "Right now, some of our sister organizations in other areas of Illinois are either closed or not accepting clients in shelter for various reasons.  They are making referrals to other areas within the state, like Peoria. Models from other disasters show that we are likely to see a dramatic increase in pleas for help when this public health crisis begins to lessen severity and people return to work."

That's where this grant will come in handy.

"Thanks to the creative team at the Illinois Department of Public Services, Illinoisans experiencing domestic violence now have greater access to alternative housing initiatives, transportation assistance, food, and supplies," Gov. Pritzker described.

Of the $1.3 million, the Center for Prevention of Abuse says they don't yet know how much money they will receive.

However, they are stressing to the public that they are still open, and anyone who needs help can call the 24/7 hotline at 1 (800) 559-SAFE.

Sheridan Swathwood

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