A Plan to Break the Cycle: Building a Safer Future for Illinois Families

Domestic violence impacts children and families across Illinois. It transcends age, income, race and gender, and forces too many to live in fear. We can’t be afraid to talk about this violence, listen to survivors, and amplify their voices. Illinois families should not have to live in fear. They should not be subject to cycles of emotional, physical, and economic abuse. I believe we can do more to break these cycles and help our families build better lives and I am ready to do that as your next governor.

We know that counseling and therapy, legal services, shelter, and job training provide survivors of domestic violence with the resources to successfully leave abusive relationships. But instead of setting children and families up for success, Bruce Rauner did long-term damage to the tools domestic violence survivors need to build a path toward self-sufficiency.

Due to Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis, payments to domestic violence shelters were delayed or cut, resulting in many agencies reducing staff hours, laying people off, and taking out lines of credit. In July, Governor Rauner vetoed all funding for domestic violence services, jeopardizing life-saving services for more than 53,000 adults and children who receive support from community-based providers each year. Even after the legislature overrode Governor Rauner’s dangerous veto, the Department of Human Services continued to drag its feet in getting payments to domestic violence shelters.

MY PLAN: Trauma-informed intervention services for survivors of domestic violence can change lives. These services help survivors and children break cycles of violence to pursue safe and healthy futures. As governor, agencies and the survivors and families they serve will have an advocate in Springfield.

  • Putting our children on a path to success. We know that children who witness domestic violence often have difficulty learning in school and struggle with social and emotional development. Long-term impacts of childhood trauma that result from witnessing domestic violence can lead to greater health risks as an adult, including substance abuse, obesity, heart disease, and mental illness. To give our children the tools for success I will:
    • Implement evidence-based screening, detection, and prevention models to identify and help children who witness domestic violence.
    • Ensure that schools and community-based providers help children who witness domestic violence rebuild their lives by utilizing trauma-informed treatment models.
  • Tools for parents to rebuild their lives. Parents experiencing domestic violence deserve access to shelters and services that help them escape fear and start to rebuild their lives. Counseling and therapy, legal services, shelter and other support services like job training provide survivors of domestic violence with the resources they need to successfully leave an abusive relationship and build a path toward self-sufficiency. To help parents I will:
    • Ensure families have access to the tools they need to rebuild their lives by stabilizing state investment in domestic violence shelters and services that have been hurt by Governor Rauner’s budget crisis.
    • Work with community-based programs to help them build and maintain a trained workforce able to fully address the needs of domestic violence survivors.