Prosecutors have all but stopped prosecuting new domestic violence cases in Cook County at the direction of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
“Chicago police and domestic violence advocates say they were caught off guard [when Foxx] announced she was removing prosecutors from the domestic violence courthouse for 14 days after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus,” the paper reported.
The decision to stop prosecuting all but the most violent cases comes as domestic incidents are on the rise while people spend more time indoors together during the state’s stay-at-home order.
Only extremely violent cases will be prosecuted in the coming days. Instead, victims will be told to file for civil emergency orders of protection and then talk to prosecutors in a couple of weeks about pursuing criminal charges against their alleged abuser, according to the paper.
A domestic violence coordinator for CPD told the paper that she was “infuriated and disappointed. We are in a crisis.”
“In fairness to the state’s attorney, they are scrambling to come up with a timely solution in a bad situation,” the coordinator, Aileen Robinson told the paper. “But I was not informed.”
As the Tribune story broke, Foxx tweeted a home video to offer victims help in “creating distance from an abuser.”
Staying safe during a crisis includes creating distance from an abuser. The @cookcountysao Victim Witness Unit (773-674-7200) and IL DV Hotline (1-877-863-6338) are still available for survivors of domestic violence. You are not alone. pic.twitter.com/m3bIBtPxbU— State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (@SAKimFoxx) April 2, 2020