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Domestic Violence Shelters Drastically Cut Services During State Budget Impasse

(CBS) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month -- a call to help those who suffer behind closed doors.

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports that noble effort is hurt by Illinois' budget crisis.

Candles at Oak Street Beach created a dramatic start to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

But domestic violence victims are finding it harder than ever to get help now.

Beds are not filled because shelters are closing across the state -- casualties of the budget impasse in Springfield.

Yesenia Maldonado's organization, Between Friends, has gone three payrolls without getting money from the state.

"My greatest fear that it's going to take someone losing their life for our lawmakers and our governor to sit down and have a conversation about what it's going to take cover our expenses in this state," the agency's executive director says.

As dire as it is in the Chicago area, it's even worse downstate. One not-for-profit group tells CBS 2 that 16 counties in central and southern Illinois are offering little or no support for victims of domestic violence.

Social services providers have mailed shoes to the governor and lawmakers. The shoes represent victims of domestic violence victims in Illinois.

Shelters, counselors and hotlines that serve an estimated 75,000 domestic violence victims in Illinois are affected. Between Friends and other groups are trying to use volunteers, but volunteers are not always available.


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