Advocating for Safer Policy
ICADV aims to educate lawmakers, professional industries, and the public about the challenges domestic violence survivors face when trying to get help. Poor domestic violence policy endangers lives, and it’s crucial that policy makers understand how rules at the top affects the work done on the ground.
ICADV lobbies policy makers to enact standards that make survivors safer, hold abusers accountable, and reduce obstacles to obtaining resources to ensure more self sufficiency.
The Full Picture
When trying to escape domestic violence, survivors can encounter obstacles from many different angles. We work to promote policies and understanding that keep survivors safe as they’re seeking help and try to alleviate stumbling blocks in that process. When a survivor decides to leave an abusive relationship, it is critical that the right tools are there when they are needed. And that means policies that support increased accessibility.
Throughout the state it is common that there is a lack of appropriate resources such as:
- Space at local shelters
- Affordable housing
- Child care
- Education and employment opportunities
- Appropriate mental health support
- Financial resources
Additional obstacles a survivor may face include:
- Fear of leaving behind children or other family members
- Shelters that won’t accept older children
- Undocumented immigration status
- Limited English skills
- Struggles with substance use
- Custody and visitation agreements not in the best interest of child safety
- Gaps in workplace experience
- Physical or cognitive disabilities
- Fear that abuser will harm pets left behind
By understanding the interconnected web of challenges survivors face, we can work together to tear down some of these barriers.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act
Originally passed in 1982, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act is landmark legislation providing protections for domestic violence survivors in Illinois.
Read the full Illinois Domestic Violence Act by clicking the link below.
The Work Ahead
Though we’ve made considerable progress from where we started, well-intentioned policies continue to be implemented that have unintended negative consequences for survivors. The need for services exceeds available resources far too often, and survivors and their children are still turned away from programs due to lack of space or inadequate staffing.
If you’d like to help us continue our mission of safer policy, you can donate funds, follow us on social media to receive policy alerts about when to contact your lawmakers, and/or join the coalition.