News ID: 202308
Published: 0906 GMT October 13, 2017

Immigration crackdown interfering with domestic violence cases

Immigration crackdown interfering with domestic violence cases

The crackdown on immigration may be preventing victims of domestic violence from reporting incidents to police or participating in the prosecution of those charged, Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.

"I have heard that has directly impacted the number of reports to the police," including victims failing to show up in court or failing to show up on return dates for orders of protection, McMahon said this week during his monthly news briefing, according to

He added, "That makes it difficult to achieve justice for the direct victim and the victim in general, our community”.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and McMahon invited representatives from the county's two domestic violence shelters — The Community Crisis Center in Elgin and Mutual Ground in Aurora — to talk about efforts to bring domestic violence awareness to their communities, providing safe havens for victims and treatment for offenders.

"It is a constant. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries — our most rural and urban areas in Aurora and Elgin, the Tri-Cities and in the other part of the county," McMahon said.

Kane County prosecutes 1,150 to 1,250 misdemeanor domestic violence cases each year, McMahon said. He said the number of felony domestic violence cases is harder to track.

There was a time that domestic violence wasn't prosecuted as aggressively — partially because the victims may have been reluctant to testify or recanted, McMahon said.

While domestic violence murder cases are rare here, it shows "how serious domestic violence is and how it can turn in an instance for somebody who wants to end a relationship and wants a better life for themselves and their children," McMahon said.

"There is a lot we have learned over the years," about the why of domestic violence, he said.

"Domestic violence is a crime of power, it is a crime of intimidation and it is a crime of emotion," he said.

"It is a belief by men that women are inferior and that they can control them through verbal and physical abuse and too often it ends in tragedy," McMahon said.

While women and men can be victims of domestic violence, women are most often the victims, said Maureen Manning, director of client services at the crisis center.

"From 85 percent to 95 percent of the time, the domestic violence we are talking about is perpetrated by male versus a female," she said.

The remaining 15 percent to 5 percent includes female against male, Manning said.

The data show that one in four women and one in seven men can experience some level of domestic violence, said Michelle Meyer, executive director at Mutual Ground.

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