New programs and services will soon be available to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in Rockford.
The Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking met over Zoom Tuesday night to remind residents the importance of addressing the crime.
“We see that 60 to 75 percent of those juveniles arrested for violent offenses grew up in a household with domestic violence or were direct victims themselves of domestic violence,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.
One of the biggest projects the office is working on is the opening of the Family Peace Center which will bring more than a dozen city services and resources together under one roof.
“We’ve heard from survivors across the community that they had to go to so many places to get what they needed that it was almost easier to stay in their situation than it was navigate the system that was supposed to be designed to serve them and to help them,” Family Peace Center Project Manager Sierra Kellen.
The office is also making sure children and teens impacted by domestic violence have the resources they need to recover.
“It allows them to take that fear and control how they approach that fear which we know they need that at this time because if a child has gone through domestic violence or sexual abuse that control has been taken away from them,” said Camp HOPE America Project Manager Annie Hobson.
Camp HOPE America is another initiative city leaders are working on to intercept the cycle of violence within our youth.
“Camp HOPE is the sister program to the Family Peace Center,” said Hobson. “It’s for youth 7-17 years of age and what’s so unique and very awesome about this program is that it is solely focused on youth who have been impacted by domestic violence and sexual abuse,” said Hobson.
Kellen says the Family Peace Center will be opening soon, but in the meantime all services the center offers will be available online.
Hobson says the plans for Camp HOPE America are still being worked out however the program is set to launch next summer.
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