Chicago Foundation for Women asks, "What will it take to make Illinois the safest state for all women and girls?".
Chicago Foundation for Women announced today it will be receiving a $2 million grant from the State of Illinois to fund a yearlong anti-violence initiative to answer the question, “What Will It Take to Make Illinois the Safest State for All Women and Girls?”
The grant was put in the state budget and given to the Foundation thanks to the efforts of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and State Senator Carol Ronen (D-Chicago). Blagojevich made the formal announcement at the Foundation’s 21st Annual Luncheon and Symposium Thursday, attended by more than 2,000 people.
“Domestic violence and sexual assault are two of the worst crimes we see. And sadly, thousands of women and children face this kind of violence each year,” Gov. Blagojevich said. “That’s why it’s so important to invest in programs that help prevent violence against women, and ensure that women and girls can find safety and help when they need to escape violent situations. Chicago Foundation for Women’s anti-violence initiative is taking all the right steps to fight domestic violence and sexual assaults. And with these state and federal grants, Chicago Foundation for Women and other organizations across the state will help us strive to be the safest state in the country for women and girls.”
“We chose the Chicago Foundation for Women to lead this initiative because it has always been a leader in trying to help end violence against women,” said Ronen. “We know that the Foundation is a neutral organization able to bring together advocates, academics, politicians, community members and religious leaders. And it is willing to reach out to find those who haven’t yet been part of the discussion.”
“There is wonderful work already being done in Illinois to prevent violence against women,” said Mary Morten, associate director of the Foundation, who will lead the effort. “But still the problem is escalating. The numbers are not getting better. So, we need to roll up our sleeves and get much more creative with our approach. That’s what we intend to do.”
“This seems like such a simple question to ask,” said Hannah Rosenthal, executive director of the Foundation. “But we know from experience that simple questions often net the most complex and complete answers. And that is what we are looking for—answers. We thank the Governor for the confidence he has placed in us.”
The money will be used for grants and a public education campaign, as well as a complex statewide discussion. At year’s end, the initiative will publish a report that serves as a blueprint for violence prevention in Illinois. “The blueprint will not only show Illinois how to become the safest state for women and girls but also lead the way for other states as well,” said Morten.
What will it Take? FACT SHEET
For more information, please contact Susy Schultz , director of advocacy and communications, at (312) 577-2825.
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