Durbin Announces $9 Million To Combat Violence Against Women

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Illinois agencies, organizations, and universities grants totaling $9,339,711 to prevent, combat, and investigate sexual assault and violence against women. Today’s funding will also support critical victims’ services, including counseling and housing assistance.
“This investment not only improves our law enforcement’s ability to prevent, investigate, and prosecute sexual assault and domestic violence, it ensures they have the tools and training to support survivors during the most difficult moments,” said Durbin. “Community organizations will also see their ability to provide valuable and potentially lifesaving assistance improved by this funding. Together, we can make significant strides toward ending sexual assault and domestic abuse, and I will continue working to provide Illinois with the critical resources needed to stop these terrible crimes.”
Under this announcement, the following entities received funding from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women:

  • Crisis Center for South Suburbia (Tinley Park): $349,968 to provide housing and support services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Services will focus on meeting the needs of underserved communities;
  • Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago): $285,374 to implement, in partnership with Just Practice, sexual assault survivor services for LGBTQ youth and adults, including crisis counseling, advocacy, referrals, and support groups;
  • Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Chicago): $300,000 to expand program capacity to provide comprehensive counseling services to Latina and African American women and LGBTQ individuals and support education, outreach, and social marketing efforts;
  • Circuit Court of Cook County: $166,666 to address barriers faced by domestic violence victims and their children in the family court system;
  • Illinois Attorney General: $750,000 to develop and provide training on victim-centered techniques and procedures for first responders and law enforcement officials who investigate sexual assault cases;
  • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority: $533,742 to support rape crisis centers as they provide core services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual assault; $5,264,779 to develop and strengthen law enforcement, prosecution, and court strategies to combat violence against women. Funding will also be used to bolster victim services, including community-based, culturally-specific services in cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
  • Lee County State Attorney's Office: $443,508 to establish a Sexual Assault Response Team to ensure adequate investigation and prosecution of sexual assault crimes, establish a comprehensive victim service and support center, and implement a centralized computer tracking system for sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases;
  • Winnebago County Circuit Court: $650,000 to implement the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) to identity, in partnership with community groups, victims of domestic violence at greatest risk of being killed, encourage victims to utilize support services, and participate in an evaluation of the LAP model;
  • Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville: $300,000 to create the SIUE Survivor Support Initiative to prevent and reduce sexual assault through education and increase student awareness of victims’ services;
  • Benedictine University: $295,674 to provide training on trauma-informed response to campus law enforcement and the Lisle Police Department, implement a coordinated community response team to sexual assault crimes, and implement a prevention program to reduce sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.