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Illinois observes October as domestic violence awareness month

Domestic Violence is a major concern for authorities across the country, including the state of Illinois. A number of federal, state and non-profit agencies in the state are involved in raising awareness about domestic violence and helping victims who need help through various programs targeted at the victims of spousal abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse.

In order to reinforce the state's efforts, Governor Pat Quinn recently proclaimed October 2014 as "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" in Illinois. The objective of the efforts is to organize events across the state in order to raise awareness and inform residents about the resources available for those who need help. Some of the events that are planned include a 5 km walk and run, candlelight vigils and processions. A comprehensive list of events that are planned can be viewed on the Illinois Department of Human Services' website.

According to the Secretary of the IDHS, 115,000 to 125,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported in the state every year. Additionally, no part of Illinois is devoid of such reports and the incidents are reported across all ages as well as racial, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. To address this issue, the IDHS supports almost 70 programs across the state, which helps victims of domestic violence by providing them with counseling, advocacy and legal support. Additionally, these programs provide shelters and support services at no cost to the victim.

The IDHS also supports more than 70 Partner Abuse Intervention Programs in Illinois in order to reduce and prevent domestic violence and to help the judicial system hold the perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable. The PAIPs have a 24-week workshop that helps the participants identify the behaviors that may lead to violence directed toward their partner in the future.

In spite of these efforts, incidents of domestic violence are often reported in Lake County as well as other parts of the state. In most such cases, removal of the victims is the best available option. However, it may be difficult for victims to speak freely because of fear or lack of knowledge about the laws governing domestic violence in Illinois. Therefore, they may choose to retain an attorney who can help them protect their rights and hold the perpetrator accountable in the eyes of the law.

Source: Illinois.gov, "Gov. Quinn Proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Illinois," Oct. 6, 2014

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