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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is congratulating the DuPage Children's Museum and the Naperville Heritage Society for receiving nearly $1 million in combined grants    to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits.

“Part of being an Illinoisan is understanding where our history      began and where it’s going and as Illinoisan we’re always looking toward the future,” Ellman said. “Both of these organization are reaching out to people where they are creating a framework on how to move forward. They’re recognizing the needs of the community and are creatively meeting those needs while also moving us forward.”

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the state’s multi-year capital program, is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally-owned land. The maximum grant award for the projects announced Wednesday was $750,000 and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

“The Children’s Museum and the Heritage Society attract thousands of visitors each year,” Ellman said. “This program is investing in the 21st district, which in return creates new economic growth in our community.”

More information on the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is available on the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/Museum-Capital-Grants.aspx.

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NAPERVILLE – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, another crisis continues to take a toll on people across the nation – domestic violence. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, State Senator Laura Ellman is highlighting state and local resources to make sure Illinois residents are aware that there is assistance available.

“Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality in all of our communities, and it doesn’t discriminate. It affects all classes, genders and races,” Ellman said. “No one should feel unsafe in their own home, but if you do, there are resources available to help.”

According to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in 2019, there were over 45,000 adult survivors in the state of Illinois and nearly 9,000 children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence. While safe shelter is crucial to a survivor’s safety, only about 11% of adult survivors served by domestic violence agencies last year received emergency shelter or transitional housing.

The pandemic has caused domestic partners and families to live in close proximately for longer periods of time. If domestic violence is already a problem in a relationship, the stress of this public health crisis may be making it worse and allowing an abusive person to exercise more control over a companion or child.  

"During these difficult times when Illinoisans are expected to limit their time outside of their homes, too many don’t have a safe home to stay in,” Ellman said. “Unfortunately, the rate of domestic violence has gone up since COVID-19 began to affect our daily lives.”

The following available resources include confidential support, multilingual advocates, and survivor-centered services:

  • Center for Prevention of Abuse at 800-559-SAFE (800-559-7233)
  • Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line at 877-TO END DV (877-863-6338)
  • Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for help 24/7 with any kind of crisis

Additionally, residents can find local shelters and assistance from domestic shelters at www.domesticshelters.org.

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NAPERVILLE – After months of discussion, negotiation and development of a plan to support sexual assault survivors, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is pleased to see the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Services has unveiled a sexual assault evidence tracking system to allow survivors to track the status of their medical forensic exams, also sometimes called      “rape kits.”

“Survivors have been forced to live day in and day out without any knowledge on the progress of testing their kits,” Ellman said.            “I hope this new tracking system helps them feel more control           over the progress of their cases.”   

Through ISP’s new tracking system, survivors of sexual assault will be able to monitor the status of the evidence in their case, from collection at the hospital, through law enforcement pick-up and submission to the forensic lab, and ultimately to the State's Attorney's office, where final results will be received. The system, called CheckPoint, can only be accessed by unique case numbers and passwords to ensure privacy of survivors.  

“The CheckPoint system will allow survivors to have real-time information about their evidence while protecting their privacy,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “This point-by-point knowledge of the location of their evidence will help to empower survivors and foster public trust in the system. ISP DFS personnel remain committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault through transparency and accountability.”  

]Currently, any survivor of sexual assault who seeks a forensic medical exam at a health care facility that has implemented the CheckPoint system is able to track the progress of their evidence in the system.

In 2018, the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission recommended the tracking system in its final report. The report can be found here.

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging female small business owners to sign up for the      Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s        “All in for Women: BIG Webinars.” During women’s small business month, the webinars focus on women-owned businesses,      instructing owners on how to navigate eligibility and the application process for business interruption grants offered by the state.

“As women, it’s our responsibility to lift each other up and make      sure that we have access to these  grants and other opportunities,” Ellman said. “If you own a business and are thinking of applying for a BIG grant, take one of these seminars.”

The Business Interruption Grant program is a $636 million program created to provide economic relief  for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The program uses federal funds provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses.

In the second round of grants, $220 million will be allocated to provide relief for all types of small businesses, including women-owned small businesses. Funding can be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other operational costs.

“These funds have and will continue to give businesses the ability to reopen with the new guidelines and provide a safer environment for employees and customers,” Ellman said.

In these webinars, women-owned businesses will learn about eligibility, program details, and the application process. Technical assistance support will also be provided for the last 30 minutes of every session.

A total of four webinars are being offered over the course of the month. The dates and time of each webinar is listed below along with links to register.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m. Register HERE

Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. Register HERE

Tuesday. Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Register HERE

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. Register HERE

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Naperville, IL 60540
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