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Cellphone donations help domestic violence victims in Illinois

Domestic violence is a serious concern throughout the United States, including Illinois. Many state, federal and voluntary organizations try to raise awareness against domestic violence and sexual abuse. They also help protect victims from emotional and sexual assault. Sometimes, the removal of victims from their homes is the only solution.

Mutual Ground, one of the biggest domestic violence non-governmental organizations operating in Illinois, is asking residents to donate outdated mobile phones that can be used by domestic violence victims. Representative Stephanie Kifowit says that many unused phones lying around in many homes can provide a life-line to victims. Kifowit's department will be picking up these phones and reprogramming them to make them suitable for use.

Mutual Ground provides a 24-hour hotline service for domestic violence and sexual abuse victims. Their hotlines are staffed by specialists who provide counseling to at least 2,000 women per month. They have a domestic violence hotline number that a person who is in an abusive situation can call and get help. There is also a sexual abuse hotline that will put the abuse victim in contact with a person who can help them to get out of their abusive situation.

Kifowit has co-sponsored a law that empowers the judges with GPS tracking of those charged with domestic violence. A judge is also empowered to track a person even if the person has not violated a protection order. The Representative has also pushed for increased penalties of people who repeatedly commit domestic violence. The donated mobile phones will act as 911 emergency lines for victims of sexual abuse and violence.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "From the community: Kifowit Organizes Cell Phone Donation Drive to Assist Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault," State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, Jan.28, 2015

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