03142019CM0287SPRINGFIELD – Because the state’s Stay at Home Order can cause serious complications for those who experience or live in fear of domestic violence, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) urges Illinoisans to spread the word about a new $1.2 million plan to improve state resources for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Asking Illinoisans to stay home may sound like a simple request, but for many people who experience or fear domestic violence, home isn’t a safe space. To make things worse, the COVID-19 outbreak may limit access to critical services,” said Fine. “We can’t forget about the health and safety of our survivors who may be in a dangerous situation during this time.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced April 2 that it will increase the capacity of its current statewide network of services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this plan, the Domestic Violence Helpline will become a one-stop access point for shelter needs. Survivors may call the Helpline directly at 1-877-TO END DV (1-877-863-6338 voice or 1-877-863-6339 TTY) to be connected to shelter services. Survivors also may contact their local domestic violence programs for shelter assistance.

IDHS is also working with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence to establish an emergency fund to support local providers with needs related to COVID-19.

“If you feel threatened or at risk during this pandemic, please don’t wait—call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-877-863-6338 for help,” said Fine.

For more information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 relief services, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.