This month the Chicago Cares education department welcomes a new community partner to our roster, Rainbow House. Rainbow House is an organization that helps families dealing with domestic violence in the city of Chicago. Since 1982 this organization has been serving families with individual & group counseling, prevention education, legal advocacy, referrals and community outreach. Rainbow House services mostly Latino women and children living in the Little Village Community, a vibrant Mexican-American neighborhood on the city’s west side.

October is domestic violence awareness month. The impact of domestic violence extend far beyond the victim. Family members, including children and seniors are also affected. Domestic violence reaches into the workplace, our homes and social settings. About one out of every four women in America will be affected by domestic violence at some point in their lives. In August of this year, it was reported that the city of Chicago’s domestic violence help line received more than 29,000 calls in 2010. “Though the calls to the Help Line and to the Chicago Police Department have declined slightly, local law enforcement are still receiving an average of 541 domestic-related calls for assistance each day,” said Jennifer Welch, deputy commissioner, Division on Domestic Violence, DFSS.

According to the Department of Family Support Services, more than half of female victims of intimate violence live in homes that include children under age 12. Rainbow House recognizes the importance of helping children through its early education program that addresses the physical and emotional needs of children exposed to domestic violence. Rainbow House not only offers therapy and family counseling, but they also incorporate art therapy and non-directive play therapies. Many times these sessions allow mothers time to participate in counseling and support services, and that’s where Chicago Cares volunteers come in!

Our new Therapeutic Art program at Rainbow House launches October 18th. Volunteers will work on art projects with students affected by domestic violence. Art projects are designed to allow students to express themselves, building self confidence and creativity. Sign up soon for upcoming dates, space is limited.

We also have many volunteer needs at similar art programs going on across the city. Look for these programs on our search page:

  • Art Club at HPSS
  • Art Time at Guggenheim
  • Kids Create at Mercy Housing
  • Art Time at San Miguel
  • Eco-Art at McCormick
  • Photo Art at Brunson
  • ArtSmart: Green Edition at S.O.S.
  • Eco-Art at Brunson

Get help or find out more about domestic violence in your community.
Illinois Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Helpline 877-To End DV (877-863-6338).

This post is shared by Senior Manager of Education, Alisha Flores