Cook County launches program to provide free cell phones to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking

COOK COUNTY - Cook County has launched a new program aimed at aiding survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, offering them a chance to regain their independence and rebuild their lives.

In partnership with the 911 Cell Phone Bank, the initiative is designed to provide free or refurbished cell phones to individuals who have been affected by domestic violence or human trafficking. The program recognizes the significance of connecting survivors, especially women and children, with their families and the support services they need.

In many instances, these survivors find themselves without phones or other electronic devices, often having had their belongings confiscated by their abusers.

In 2021, the Cook County Sheriff's Office assisted approximately 100 survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, offering housing, food, clothing, and various other essential resources. Shockingly, it was discovered that nearly 40% of these survivors lacked access to cell phones.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart emphasized the importance of providing these cell phones as a lifeline for survivors to connect with necessary services while ensuring their abusers remain unaware of their actions.

The donated cell phones come equipped with Wi-Fi capability and include unlimited minute plans for at least 60 days. After this initial period, survivors will be subject to a minimal monthly fee.