Amy Milligan, Domestic Violence Services Director, on the Mayor’s violence reduction plan

A new report on violence reduction issued by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, “Our City, Our Safety: A Comprehensive Plan to Reduce Violence in Chicago,” acknowledges the critical importance of domestic violence prevention in reducing overall violence citywide.

Read more about the plan via the Chicago Tribune.

Amy Milligan, Domestic Violence Services Director at Metropolitan, shares her initial thoughts on the plan:

“It’s heartening to see that the mayor’s report recognizes the strong connection between domestic violence and gun violence. DV advocates have long understood that a victim’s risk of death by homicide increases by 500% if their abusive partner has access to a gun; a majority of mass shootings and other forms of gun violence include a domestic violence component. So it is critical that this connection is understood and addressed.

Like poverty and systemic racism, domestic violence is a form of generational trauma, so I was glad to see that the mayor’s report recognizes and acknowledges that connection and the impact that these multiple forms of trauma can have on communities.

MFS advocates have seen firsthand how conditions during the pandemic have made it increasingly difficult for survivors to access services. Not only have survivors been more isolated at home with their abusers, but the economic impacts of the pandemic have added additional stressors. Survivors are struggling with inadequate technology for connecting to providers, limited opportunities for privacy, and decreased resources for accessing child care, transportation, and safe housing.

The mayor’s report includes plans to address these unique challenges, including DV training for street outreach workers and increased access to safe and secure housing.

Like the services offered by MFS, these plans offer community-based resources that survivors can connect to more quickly and easily to increase their safety.”

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