Department of Family & Support Services
City Services

Chicago Reports on City's Response to Domestic Violence

The Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence (MODV) and the City of Chicago’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Coordinating Council (DVACC) today released a groundbreaking, book-length assessment describing every level of Government, not-for-profit and private response to domestic violence. The 2007 report, titled Assessment of the Current Response to Domestic Violence in Chicago, was compiled by MODV and reflects many significant advancements over the past decade.

“Today, domestic violence is not just a criminal justice or social service issue. It is a community concern and many committed people are taking an active role in addressing it,” said Leslie Landis, MODV's Executive Director and chair of DVACC. “This 2007 Assessment is a very significant contribution to our understanding of, and response to an issue which has significant impact on all aspects of our society,” Landis added.

This Assessment catalogs, organizes and describes the collective response and places it into a comprehensible structure. This 200 page Assessment, reflects the full scope and interconnectedness of Chicago’s response to a complex and universally condemned social behavior. It is the first of its kind. No major city has before now attempted to map its response at all levels in order to identify gaps and ensure continued movement toward reducing domestic violence incidents.

Significantly, the Assessment indicates that reported domestic violence calls for service in 2006 were 3% fewer than recorded in 2005. Similarly in 2005, these calls declined by 2.2% from 2004. There was a 1.8% decline in reported domestic violence crimes in 2006 compared to 2005. Despite the fact that the reported incidents are down, the rate of domestic violence remains high. On a daily basis there was an average of 561 domestic violence related calls for service daily. The Assessment also reports that in 2006, domestic violence murders and child abuse murders were at the lowest level since the current coding system began in 1982.

The Assessment reflects progress in creating an innovative coordinated response to domestic violence. Callers are being linked to vital services in increasing numbers through the City of Chicago’s Domestic Violence Help Line. Yet funding for essential services remains limited.

The Mayor created the Office on Domestic Violence in 1997 to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive community response to domestic violence. In 1998, MODV launched the Domestic Violence Help Line, a 24-hour toll free, confidential, multi-lingual telephone service that operates as a clearinghouse to domestic violence services in Chicago.

For more information on the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence, call (312) 747-9972 or open/download the complete Assessment attached below. For the Help Line, call 1.877.863.6338, TTY 1.877.863.6339.

Assessment of the Current Response to Domestic Violence in Chicago (2007)

Overview Assessment of the Current Response to Domestic Violence in Chicago (2007)