Rockford city leaders hosted an event on Thursday aimed at bringing more community advocates on board to help address domestic and sexual violence crimes.
Over the last 10 months, the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention has conducted interviews with more than 100 survivors.
Through those interviews, the city has identified gaps in the system that prevent domestic and sexual violence victims from getting the help they need.
Among the findings: the need to provide long-term services for survivors.
Leaders also say a key to stopping the surge in domestic violence may be to start educating children about domestic violence prevention at an earlier age.
Jennifer Cacciapaglia, the Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention, said, “We should be talking to kindergartners about healthy relationships. We should be talking to boys very, very early about these issues, and girls as well. But, we have got to start talking to children.”
In 2018, 35 percent of violent crime in Rockford was domestic related.