Letter: Illinois must protect victims of domestic violence

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month and every day, more than 300 people are directly impacted by gun violence in the United States.  Domestic violence and gun violence are deeply interconnected, impacting millions of women, families, and communities across the U.S. Two-thirds of women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a gun. In the last few weeks alone there have been several local cases of domestic violence involving firearms.

Recently, the Illinois General Assembly declined to act on Karina’s Bill SB2633. This legislation would strengthen the law to protect domestic violence survivors from firearms. The bill is supported by dozens of domestic violence and gun violence prevention advocates, healthcare organizations, and legal aid groups. As a member of The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, Anew works to advocate and educate stakeholders about the importance of collectively working together to ensure the safety of families experiencing domestic violence.

Advocates and survivors have been lifting up the dangers of firearms in domestic violence situations for decades. It is beyond time to heed the call for enhanced protection for survivors and their children.

Every day Anew’s Court Advocates work diligently at the Markham Courthouse to help survivors obtain orders of protection and provide additional resources to help them plan for their safety. Advocates, law enforcement and our elected officials must work together to ensure that protection is given to survivors. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, no matter your socioeconomic background, education, race, or sexual orientation. It is important for everyone to work together to help survivors be safe and stay safe!

If you or someone you know is feeling unsafe from their intimate partner, please reach out to our 24-hour hotline at 708-335-3028.

Anew: Building Beyond Violence offers an array of services that includes a 24-hour bilingual hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, court advocacy, housing support, and community education and training. For more information about our services visit http://www.anewdv.org.

Jennifer Gabrenya
chief executive officer
Anew: Building Beyond Violence

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