Community Action for Domestic Violence

Chicago residents also can help victims experiencing family violence.  Studies have shown that victims of family violence often rely on family, friends, and community members before they reach out to professional service providers.  This means that members of the community play an important role in early identification and response to victims of family violence.  The Domestic Violence Division offers the following recommendations as ways that the community can help address domestic violence.

Be informed and inform others:

Speak out about the issue:

  • Recognize that domestic violence has a serious and negative impact on the quality of life in our city, so it is everybody's business.
  • Speak out about domestic violence to your friends, co-workers, faith congregations, health care providers etc. Help them realize that this is a serious crime that must not be tolerated.
  • Raise and discuss domestic violence issues at your local CAPS beat and DAC meetings. Request that domestic violence-related crime statistics be provided.
  • Recruit your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers – everyone you know – to help in your efforts to address domestic violence.
  • Host a discussion with your friends, co-workers or others on a book that relates to domestic violence.

Distribute materials:

  • Address domestic violence issues in neighborhood, faith or work newsletters, bulletins, and web pages.
  • Display awareness materials such as buttons, bumper stickers and/or window signs that let people know you do not tolerate domestic violence. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
  • Display educational posters and materials that advertise the City of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line in places where people spend time such as the grocery store, laundry, gym, post office, library, restaurants, bars, theaters, etc., and ask the manager to
  • Leave domestic violence Help Line palm cards in restrooms or other public places where they can be taken anonymously.
  • Organize a team of volunteers to distribute educational and awareness materials in your neighborhood and commercial areas on a regular basis to ensure that the information is always available.

Inform youth and school administrators:

  • Address domestic violence during parent forums and Local School Council meetings.
  • Ask teachers at your local school to talk about domestic violence with their students. Volunteer to have a speaker from a local domestic violence program or the Division on Domestic Violence make a presentation.
  • Teach youth groups in your community about healthy relationships and let them know domestic violence is never acceptable.

Volunteer your time

Assist service providers:

  • Donate your money, time and talents to a community-based domestic violence service agency in your area. Help with fund-raising events.
  • Support volunteer programs that work to prevent elder abuse such as Respite Care, which gives primary care givers some relief from constantly caring for an elderly or disabled person.
  • Hold drives to generate resources and direct aid to victims such as emergency transportation funds, rental or moving assistance, transitional housing, clothing, blankets and/or personal hygiene items. Conduct these drives and administer these funds as part of your congregation, work place, service club, etc.

Assist the responder community:

  • Join your Police District's CAPS Domestic Violence Subcommittee to identify, confront and solve this problem with your local police and other community stakeholders.
  • Participate in or help organize community-led marches and forums on domestic violence.
  • Recruit others to volunteer too.

Advocate for the issue

In the community:

  • Encourage clinics, schools, houses of worship, workplaces, etc., to establish and maintain "safe spaces" to discuss domestic violence and help victims.
  • Influence the leaders at your local house of worship to understand domestic violence issues and address them in their sermons. Display domestic violence awareness materials in your place of worship.
  • Encourage men to act as positive role models who oppose domestic violence.
  • Help create community support for abusers who take responsibility for their violent behavior as they actively seek help to change.

Media outlets:

  • Invite news editors and reporters to improve their coverage of domestic violence issues by writing in letters or making calls.
  • Write a letter to the editor about domestic violence and everyone’s role in stopping it.

Respond to violence

  • Call the police if see, hear or suspect that a domestic violence crime is occurring.


Recognize that domestic violence has a serious and negative impact on the quality of life in our city. It is everybody's Distribute Community Action Posters by clicking on the this link:  Community Action