Survivors of Domestic Violence Speak Out


From The Front Lines:  Survivor and Provider Perspectives on Illinois Domestic Violence Assistance Gaps and Action Initiatives” - FULL REPORT ~ SUMMARY ONLY

With the direction of its member, community based, domestic violence service providers throughout Illinois, ICADV is the powerful statewide voice for battered women and their children, working to ensure that families have knowledge of and access to services and opportunities to pursue a safer life.  It is through these local agencies that ICADV was able to survey over 900 survivors about the supports they need which include:

  • access to safe shelter and housing;
  • resources for increasing economic sufficiency;
  • accountability for her batterer; and
  • resources to heal from the trauma of domestic violence.  

Each survivor’s story is unique, but many survivors experience common barriers in their pursuit of safety for themselves and their children.  One survivor responded to the survey by saying “Most people blame me for what he does.  They ask why I don’t leave.  Well I’ve tried to leave, but I always end up going back until this time…  [W]hen [the community] that is supposed to help…is making me accountable for what he does, I don’t see the point.  It’s frustrating.  So far [the staff at the domestic violence agency] are the only ones who believed me.” 

Survivors have spoken.  ICADV has published “From The Front Lines:  Survivor and Provider Perspectives on Illinois Domestic Violence Assistance Gaps and Action Initiatives”, a summary of what 900 survivors reported and the plan ICADV has developed to help communities step up and take action against domestic violence. The full report and a summary of our Call To Action are available.

Joyce M. Coffee, current President of the ICADV Board of Directors, says “It is one thing for me as the President of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence to say what victims want; what they need.  But it is quite another for them to speak for themselves.  And they have.”  How has the state of Illinois fared?  Have communities provided needed services?  This is the report card.  This is where the rubber meets the road.

Vickie Smith, Executive Director of ICADV, adds “We all probably know someone who has experienced domestic violence in a relationship –whether it was physical, emotional, or financial.  Therefore, we all have an important part to play in ending domestic violence in our communities.We all can help in stopping the spread of this epidemic in our state.”

Find out more about how you can help survivors of domestic violence.