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City Partners With Airbnb To Offer Free Hotels Rooms For Domestic Abuse Victims

By Colby Smith

City Partners With Airbnb To Offer Free Hotels Rooms For Domestic Abuse Victims

Those in need of shelter can contact a hotline that will secure them a place of safety with no charge.

Since the beginning of the state-mandated stay-at-home order, there has been a substantial increase in reports of domestic abuse.

In response, Lori Lightfoot announced a partnership with Airbnb and other hotel partners to grant safe spaces, free of charge, for survivors to stay throughout the duration of the pandemic.

“We understand that the Stay at Home order has the potential to exacerbate the already traumatic circumstances for Chicagoans experiencing violence at home,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement, “which is why the City of Chicago is continuing to collaborate with our partners to ensure that those who need refuge from violence have access to a safe place to stay.”

Victims of domestic abuse can contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 877-863-6338, or The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence. Both of which are available 24/7. The state-funded program will then make a reservation at a hotel on the caller’s behalf so that privacy is upheld.

In March, the Domestic Violence Hotline of Illinois saw a 6% increase in calls compared to last year, with a 12% rise in domestic abuse-related calls to the Chicago Police Department compared to March 2019.

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On March 30, 2020, the Chicago Police Department saw the highest volume of daily domestic violence-related calls in  over a year.

“This new partnership with Airbnb creates a key link for individuals fleeing violent situations by affording them immediate safe shelter and enabling them to take the next steps in their journey of recovery and growth,” said Lightfoot.

Once again, the hotline at 877-863-6338 is available 24/7. It can be reached by call or text, in over 240 languages.

[Featured image: @chadmadden via unsplash]