villanueva 041321CHICAGO – To keep women and children safe, legislation introduced by State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) that would establish the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee was signed into law today.

“Families are counting on us to take proactive steps to prevent domestic violence,” Villanueva said. “Our plan creates dedicated teams of advocates and survivors to craft violence prevention policy in every corner of the state. These review teams will save lives and I am grateful to the governor for his commitment to keeping women and children in Illinois safe.”


The new law will establish regional review teams by judicial court, conduct domestic violence fatality reviews and advise the Governor and General Assembly on domestic violence prevention policy. The committee will consist of four members of the General Assembly, one appointee by the Governor and various public members representing survivors, support organizations and law enforcement.


“I am encouraged that the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee is being signed into law,” said State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), the House sponsor. “This committee will focus on issues specific to every region and will help survivors and prevent victims across our state.”

According to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 15 percent of all homicides in Illinois are connected to domestic violence. In 2020 nearly 30,000 people called the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline for help.

“Domestic violence-related deaths are tragedies that could often have been prevented,” said Margaret Duval, Executive Director, Ascend Justice. “Creating a Domestic Violence Fatality Review initiative is a significant milestone for victims and survivors of domestic violence, as well as their families and communities. We are hopeful the fatality review processes across the state will result in reforms that interrupt the cycle of domestic violence and save lives.”

The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline (877-863-6338) is open 24 hours a day with language assistance available.

Senate Bill 685 is effective immediately.