Gender Based Violence

“Gender-based violence and human trafficking are pervasive in communities all across our city... We have an epidemic on our hands and cannot afford to ignore these issues when taking a public health approach to violence reduction." -Mayor Lightfoot 

citywide strategic plan cover page  
In sum, this plan requires collaboration and shared ownership of both the problems and the solutions. Just as it was collectively designed, it will require close coordination across sectors to successfully implement. This two-year plan will help the City build the necessary foundation to create an ecosystem that works for all survivors and prevents violence in the first place. Further, successful implementation of this plan will lead to reduced harm, increase feelings of safety, and stronger connections to services and supports in communities most impacted by violence. The plan includes seven pillars with objectives and key strategies to achieve the objectives outlined in this plan:
  1. Increase capacity and expertise within city departments and sister agencies to address gender- based violence and human trafficking (GBV/HT)
  2.  Enhance coordination of GBV/HT prevention and intervention efforts among city departments and with key stakeholders
  3. Improve law enforcement response to gender-based violence
  4. Shift cultural norms on what constitutes GBV/HT and its acceptability
  5. Lead efforts to collect, analyze and use data and research to enhance GBV/HT and intervention efforts
  6. Create alternate responses to GBV/HT outside of the criminal justice systems
  7. Analyze and reform policy that perpetuates and/or creates opportunities for GBV/HT

City of Chicago Gender Based Violence Strategic Plan

The City of Chicago is building its first whole-of-government approach to address gender-based violence and human trafficking by first acknowledging the historical and systemic roots found at the intersection of racism and gender inequity; and second by building solutions-driven, trauma-informed strategies with community leaders, survivors, and City officials to create a safer, more equitable and inclusive Chicago.





Current Efforts to Address GBV at the Chicago Department of Public Health

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) addresses gender-based violence (GBV) in many of our bureaus, programs, and offices. This focus is integral to our approach that centers around our four principles (trauma-informed, health equity, cultural responsiveness and dismantling racist systems) and our mission: to promote and improve health by engaging residents, communities, and partners in establishing and implementing policies and services that prioritize residents and communities with the greatest need.

Screening and Referral 

CDPH programs that have direct interactions with clients conduct screening for GBV and provide referrals for services, as needed:

  • Family Connects, a nursing home-based visiting program for new parents and babies, includes administration of the Conflict Tactics screening tool, which evaluates violence within intimate relationships. Data are maintained in the Family Connects data system.  
  • CDPH Mental Health clinics screen their clients for interpersonal safety as part of the client assessments conducted every 6 months.
  • Clients of the CDPH WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children) clinics are screened for home safety and interpersonal violence.
  • CDPH funds two Federally Qualified Health Centers to provide health care at homeless shelters, as part of our housing/homelessness initiatives. Their client assessment includes screening and referrals for interpersonal violence, as needed.

Resource Websites

CDPH sponsors two websites that provide resources, including information about GBV

CDPH funds two telephone resource directories, which include resources for people experiencing gender-based violence as part of their menu:

Training Resource Links