When Illinois shelter in place was announced March 20, 2020, residents across the state were instructed to stay home, but for victims of domestic violence, that meant no escape.
Although the number of calls to domestic violence help lines initially went down during COVID-19, that was only because victims were now stuck with their perpetrators and had no way of seeking help under constant surveillance.
In 2020, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline received almost 28,749 calls for help, a 16 percent increase from 2019, with 35 percent of callers needing shelter from their violence because they were stuck with their abusers.
Text messages drastically increased as well, from 37 in 2017 to 936 in 2020. Since texting can be done silently, those messages often came from victims hiding from their abusers searching for any possible help.
There was also a 12 percent drop in domestic battery charges, the largest drop in almost two decades, that reflected what was happening with victims during COVID-19. Even with victims seeking help and incidents on the rise, reporting to police departments dropped.
Rebellious Magazine wanted to provide our readers resources and reassurance that you are never alone.
The interactive map below shows resources for domestic violence victims and survivors. If you need immediate assistance, please contact the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline 1-877-863-6338 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.