As Domestic Violence and Economic Hardship Continue to Increase During the Pandemic, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore Steps Up Its Response

With much of the population under stay-at-home orders or advisories, kids in remote learning, and many companies requiring employees to work from home, potential for domestic violence has made the work of organizations like the YWCA Evanston/North Shore even more critical. The Chicago Police Department reported that domestic-violence-related calls increased by 12 percent from January 2020 to mid-April, just at the beginning of the state’s stay-at-home orders, compared with the same time period in 2019.

Because of the pandemic, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, did not hold their YWomen Leadership Celebration this year. The annual celebration recognizes and celebrates women leaders in the community for their commitment to women’s advancement and racial justice.

In lieu of this year’s celebration, efforts were focused on the YWomen2020 Campaign, which raised funds for YWCA Domestic Violence Services and Women’s Leadership and Economic Advancement programs. $81,940 was raised in September for the campaign. 

“We are grateful for the generosity of our community, especially this year when domestic violence has increased and so many are suffering from economic insecurity,” said Karen Singer, YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO. “We couldn’t come together to celebrate women’s leadership but are so thankful for all those who came together to help build foundational support for vulnerable women.”

Allstate, Thermoflex, Wintrust, and Better, annual sponsors of the YWomen Leadership Celebration, turned their sponsorships into donations to the campaign.

Funding for YWomen provides safety, support services, financial education, mentoring, job training, and housing assistance for women—essential tools that women need to build self-sufficient lives, especially during the current pandemic.

In its day-to-day, the YWCA aims to empower all women by providing them safe and accessible resources to grow. They have an equity consulting program, domestic violence program for victims and survivors of domestic violence, and a relationship violence prevention program among others.

YWCulinary (pictured) and YWeb help women gain the skills they need to secure in-demand jobs. Photo courtesy of YWCA.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore is located at 1215 Church Street, Evanston, IL. Get involved and help make a difference in women’s lives at ywca.ens.org/get-involved/.


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