Aid to prevent violence against women goes to 19 Illinois agencies

The U.S. Justice Department has awarded $15.9 million to Illinois agencies to fight domestic abuse, officials said.

The money comes from the Violence Against Women Act.

The funding has been awarded to 19 community agencies, from Chicago to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.

Congress adopted the law 26 years ago, according to Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats from Illinois.

The law is intended to “prevent, combat, and investigate sexual assault and violence against women and support critical victims’ services” such as counseling and housing assistance, the senators said.

Durbin called the law a “lifeline for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.” He said home for victims is not the safe place that many others find it to be, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.