Mutual Ground, Community Crisis Center Honored For Service To Victims

Mutual Ground, Community Crisis Center Honored For Service To Victims

Two Kane County organizations that do tremendous work in helping the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault were honored at last week’s Kane County Judicial / Public Safety Committee meeting.

Lisa Aust, executive director of 16th Judicial Circuit Court Services, awarded both Mutual Ground and Community Crisis Center with an $8,000 donation from the Court Services Victim Services Fund in recognition of each center’s four decades of “dedicated service to the emotional, financial and physical needs of women and children experiencing unspeakable trauma.”

“Your work empowers individuals, families and communities to end the cycle of domestic and sexual violence,” Aust said during a brief presentation ceremony at the June 15 meeting.

The Court Services Victim Services fund was established through the collection of court-ordered probation fees in order to provide services to crime victims and their families.

“In the midst of reduced government funding, local service agencies Mutual Ground and the Community Crisis Center have demonstrated a resolute commitment to meeting the needs of those left vulnerable due to being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault,” Aust said. “Both service agencies are greatly appreciated for the work that they do.”

About Mutual Ground

Each month, Mutual Ground answers 2,000 calls 24-hours a day. With advocacy as the focus of it Sexual Assault Program, it offers crisis intervention and provides education and counseling to the victims of sexual assault.

Mutual Ground provides prevention education in 1,750 classrooms and shelters about 30 women and children in emergency situations. At no cost to the clients, Mutual Ground provides 20,000 hours of support and counseling to domestic violence victims and 4,000 hours of therapy to sexual assault victims, annually.

With the help of their advocates, 350 orders of protection were issued to protect clients from further victimization in 2016.

About Community Crisis Center

The Community Crises Center operates a 24/7 Crisis Intervention Hotline that provides information and referrals to anyone who calls. All services are available in English and Spanish and the Center provides:

  • Emergency responses to victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at area hospitals.
  • Legal advocacy with the civil and criminal justice systems.
  • Assistance in obtaining orders of protection.
  • Individual counseling in Elgin, St. Charles, and Hanover Park.
  • Weekly support groups, play therapy and counseling for children of the women in shelter.
  • Community education and in-school prevention programs, including education relating to dating violence and Erin’s Law.
  • Services to victims of Sexual Assault and their significant others.

In FY 2016, the agency’s emergency shelter program provided shelter, advocacy, and case management for 188 women and 162 children — all of whom were fleeing domestic violence — for approximately 3,200 nights, Aust said.