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Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network

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Our Story


The Network is a collaborative membership organization dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by domestic violence through education, public policy and advocacy, and the connection of community members to direct service providers.


The Network envisions an end to our society’s tolerance of domestic violence.


Education and Public Awareness

The Centralized Training Institute (CTI) offers essential, coordinated training for domestic violence advocates and allied professionals. CTI staff and expert trainers work toward increasing the knowledge and skills of participants to enable them to better serve families experiencing domestic violence. CTI has three components: 1) Domestic Violence 40-Hour Training (basic training for new domestic violence workers); 2) Advanced & Specialized Training (improves the knowledge of experienced domestic violence workers on vital and relevant issues); and 3) Allied Professional Training (customized domestic violence training for staff of organizations that frequently encounter domestic violence survivors, their children, and perpetrators). Since its inception in1997, CTI has educated thousands of domestic violence workers and allied professionals who have gone on to provide service to tens of thousands of survivors, their families, and even their abusers.

Public Policy and Advocacy

The Network is the leading systemic advocacy voice, in addition to being the forum for information exchange, within the Cook County domestic violence services community. The Network is committed to keeping informed on what’s happening in the field of domestic violence service provision, along with legal and social implications surrounding domestic violence, both locally and nationally. Membership and Committee meetings provide the foundation of collaboration for our member programs and allow Network leadership to disseminate information quickly and gather comprehensive feedback. In this way, we are uniquely positioned to stay abreast of, and respond to, survivor needs and trends affecting domestic violence service delivery.

The Network also represents the domestic violence services community in sponsorship and co-sponsorship of community events around the issue of domestic violence. These efforts come in a variety of forms: Helping to shape pending public policy, Representing and uniting the domestic violence services community when its advocacy voice needs to be heard, and educating the public about the various dynamics of domestic violence. Many of The Network’s advocacy efforts, including our Court Watch Project, also focus on ensuring that workers fulfill their institutional roles as they interact with families working to reclaim lives free from violence.

Connection For Community Members

The State of Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line is a confidential, toll free link to community-based domestic violence services. It operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, has access to more than 140 different languages, and is TTY available for speech- and hearing- impaired callers. The Network provides direction, staff, and training for The Help Line via a professional services contract with the City of Chicago that we’ve held since the Help Line took its first call in 1998.

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