October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
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.
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.
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.