Cook County domestic violence survivor center opens in Markham

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Domestic violence survivor center opens in Markham
A new Cook County domestic violence survivor center was opened Wednesday in Markham.

MARKHAM, Ill. (WLS) -- A new domestic violence survivor center was opened Wednesday in Markham during Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Cook County Clerk Iris Martinez said the center is a dream come true. She wants it to be a safe place for families dealing with domestic violence.

"To know that there is a place that someone can call home at least the most trying moments, this is the space that we have been able to identify in the south land areas as a place for everyone," Martinez said.

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The new facility is located in the basement of the Cook County Circuit Court Building in Markham, and it is out of public view.

The center includes a private and comfortable space for victims to meet with advocates, a space for Zoom hearings and a children's area.

Martinez, staff members, advocates and volunteers cut a purple ribbon in front of the new center to mark the occasion.

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Martinez said this center is a collaborative effort between the county and domestic violence advocates.

There are 65,000 cases of domestic violence reported in Illinois each year, according to Martinez . The number is likely higher that that, since cases are believed to be underreported.

Martinez and her team hope the new space serves as a catalyst for helping more survivors of domestic violence in other parts of Cook County.