JOLIET – State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that he has made a $10,000 contribution to Guardian Angel Community Services through the State’s Attorney’s Office to cover the cost of 24 new steel-frame beds for the Groundwork Emergency Shelter, which serves victims of domestic violence.
The contribution also will cover the cost of a weatherproof portable PA system plus folding tables, folding chairs and other equipment that will be utilized at the many special events Guardian Angel hosts throughout the year.
To make this contribution, State’s Attorney Glasgow used money that was seized from criminals engaged in illegal activities and forfeited to the state under the provisions of the Money Laundering Statute. Through this contribution, this money will now be used to assist Guardian Angel Community Services and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office in the enforcement of domestic violence laws.
“The attorneys and advocates in my office constantly refer victims of domestic violence to Guardian Angel Community Services for critical assistance that supports and empowers them,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “We work hand-in-hand with Guardian Angel to protect women and help them break the cycle of violence by holding their abusers accountable and ensuring that the agency can provide services that include a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, emergency shelter, counseling and support groups.”
To meet increased demand for services, Guardian Angel expanded its Groundwork Emergency Shelter by 50-percent to provide 30 beds in comfortable suites with private bathrooms for domestic abuse victims and their children. The agency, however, is replacing its wood-frame shelter beds, which are difficult to clean when utilized in communal/shelter situations. Steel-frame beds make it easier to clean and maintain the shelter. Six wood-frame beds already have been replaced.
The remaining portion of the contribution will be used to purchase the PA system, folding tables, chairs and other equipment to be used at community events that increase public awareness of issues surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault as well as raise funds that enable the not-for-profit agency to continue operations. With this equipment, Guardian Angel will no longer have to rent or borrow equipment from other agencies.
Last year, Guardian Angel Community Services domestic violence services team provided nearly 8,000 nights of shelter to more than 260 adults and children, 11,000 hours of counseling to nearly 900 adults and children, and 450 advocacy hours to more than 300 people. The hotline provided crisis intervention to more than 4,000 people. And the agency provided 40 prevention education sessions that reached more than 500 people. Domestic violence calls have increased by 139 percent over the past seven years with requests for emergency shelter jumping more than 360 percent in the same period.
The agency’s Sexual Assault Services Center staff provided more than 1,800 hours of counseling to more than 300 people and hundreds of hours of crisis intervention services to more than 600 people through the emergency hotline and on a walk-in basis. In addition, the agency provided 830 advocacy hours to 212 people and 2,727 educational and informational presentations to nearly 60,000 people.
“As a 30-year prosecutor and a lifelong resident of Joliet, I have worked on many domestic violence initiatives to protect women and children and to punish violent abusers,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “I understand the unique challenges domestic abuse cases present to victim advocates, police officers and prosecutors. That is why a strong partnership between my office and Guardian Angel is so important.”
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and thousands of survivors of domestic and sexual violence we help every year, we thank our dedicated Will County State’s Attorney, Jim Glasgow, for this generous donation. States Attorney Glasgow has worked tirelessly to bring to justice those who have perpetrated heinous crimes of domestic violence, predominately a crime committed against women in staggering numbers,” said Ines Kutlesa, Chief Executive Officer-Guardian Angel Community Services.
She added: “Domestic violence calls to our emergency hotline have increased more than 117 percent over the past seven years, in addition to more than a 90 percent increase in requests for emergency shelter during the same time period. Knowing we have such a united belief in what is right and just, working together to advocate for survivors and enforce the law makes our community that much stronger and safer. With much gratitude we at Guardian Angel will continue these efforts to ensure, as much as we can, that the basic human and inalienable rights of women in our communities are upheld.”