The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Iris Y. Martinez oversaw a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 18 to launch the Domestic Violence Survivor Center (DVSC) in the Markham Courthouse.
DVSC is intended to provide a safe place for families that have experienced instances of domestic violence and may need privacy to file order of protection requests or meet with an advocate.
“The effects of domestic violence can be far-reaching and long-lasting, not just for the victims but also for their families and communities,” Martinez said. “Despite the progress made to help victims of abuse, there is still much work to be done.”
Among the guests in attendance was Presiding Judge Tommy Brewer, Sixth Municipal District.
“A multi-faceted, collaborative approach is necessary to address domestic violence effectively,” said Martinez. “To that end, my team and I work tirelessly to bring together government agencies, non-profit organizations, community groups, and various other stakeholders in the fight against domestic violence.”
More than 65,000 domestic violence incidents are reported each year in Illinois. However, experts admit this number represents only reported incidents; the actual number is likely much higher as many victims fear retaliation and do not report the abuse, Martinez said.
October is observed nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month with the intention to educate the public about domestic violence issues and promote efforts to support victims and hold abusers accountable.
“The Domestic Violence Survivor Center reflects my offices’ commitment to providing necessary resources,” Martinez said.