Pandemic rules have DuPage domestic-violence aid working remotely
For DuPage County residents looking to protect themselves from domestic abuse, Metropolitan Family Services wants you to know it is still here to help you.
Just not at the county courthouse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of working out of a walk-in office at the Wheaton facility, order-of-protection aid is being done online and over the phone.
"Initially we made every effort to keep the office open as long as we could." said Amy Milligan, the agency's domestic violence services director.
But Chief Judge Daniel Guerin asked the group this week to close the office, as his concern grew about the health and safety of the advocates and visitors to the courthouse, she said. (Starting Monday, the courthouse will close several hours early.)
The group's DuPage division already had an online system for filling out applications for orders of protection. Advocates will do that work from home, Milligan said. The clients will then go to the circuit court clerk's office at the courthouse to get a printout of the application, and go upstairs to the order of protection courtroom.
Unfortunately, the advocates will not be there to stand beside the clients for encouragement or tips on navigating the process.
Milligan stressed that the advocates will be available every day, at all hours, over the phone and online. The 24-hour domestic-violence help number to call is (630) 469-5650.