LETTERS: Domestic violence funding cuts endanger lives November 02 2017 Judie Caribeaux, Naperville Letters to the Editor Chicago Sun-Times Speaking at the Chicago Council of Lawyers annual luncheon last month, Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot noted that the onset of Illinois’ budget impasse in 2015 coincided with an escalation in Chicago’s violence. “Social service agencies had to drastically cut back their services,” she said. “They were robbed of their ability to do their work because of the foolishness in Springfield.” Two weeks later, on Oct. 19, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to cut $89 million from the state budget, which had been earmarked for social service providers. Family Shelter Service, where I work, was one of many Illinois domestic violence agencies that was especially devastated when they were left out of last year’s stopgap budget, causing shelters to close and services to be cut back. Newly released statistics from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence reveal that 61 people lost their lives to domestic violence in Illinois in FY-17. Five of those deaths took place in DuPage County in a span of six months. Sen. Toi Hutchinson addressed the reality of what Rauner’s cuts to social service providers really means during remarks at the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Annual Symposium on Oct. 19. “Each one of these numbers on a spreadsheet is a life,” she said. The fragile but effective social service fabric of Illinois — something which took decades to build — is gradually eroding. With violence in our streets, sexual violence in the news and violence in our neighbors’ homes, isn’t it everyone’s job to make sure that this safety net is always available? Read original article here.