#JanRussellNeedsYou. Double your donation: Any money given before November 30 will be matched dollar for dollar.
Her domestic violence work changed the lives of thousands of women and children. Now she needs help. Anything you give will help enormously.
Jan is a victim of domestic violence who became a fierce advocate. She is fighting debilitating chronic illnesses — all a result of the beatings from her husband decades ago.
Since 2014, Jan has suffered from an autoimmune disorder that led to severe inflammation and chronic joint pain. Two years ago, the disorder caused tendinitis in all her major joints — it also tore and ruptured her tendons. Medical research shows us, women who are victims of violence develop delayed medical conditions 20-30 years later. Jan suffers from three of these conditions: asthma; chronic inflammation; and autoimmune disorders.
This past January, her medical disability ran out. And she is facing mounting medical bills. Jan exhausted her disability benefits in January 2018 and hasn’t had any income since then. At 63, her savings are gone. She is swimming in debt and needs your help to keep a roof over her head, eat, and receive care.
Jan literally wrote the book on the Illinois Domestic Violence Act for the Illinois State Bar Association. For more than 30 years, she fought for women and children facing domestic violence, writing laws, training officials and fighting to make sure women had freedom. All after putting herself through law school and raising her son as a single mom without child support. Thousands of us are living in safety and are doing our jobs better as criminal justice professionals and victim advocates thanks to Jan's work. She stepped in when no one else would, when hope was gone for many women. We're asking you to do the same for Jan. Even if you've never heard her name before. Help her if you know anyone who has ever been hurt by domestic violence. Chances are Jan helped them.
Help the woman who has helped so many.
Donate today and share this campaign with your friends.
How Funds Will Be Spent
Jan’s goal is to return to work. But today, her future is uncertain. Even if she is able to return, she will not be able to cover her debts. She can't even retire.
$28,000 will repay a debt to her pension plan.
$8,000 will cover medical expenses.
$15,000 to repay the loan from a family member.
Anything above that will cover her mounting law school debt, which is still accumulating.
What others say about Jan
"If it wasn’t for Jan, I don’t think this issue (of parental child abduction) would ever have come to light. ... And there is no question she is responsible for the incredible changes” in how Illinois officials deal with it.”
~ Richard M. Daley, when he was Cook County State’s Attorney.
"When no one else would even try, she brought the cause of the battered women’s movement into the closed shop of American policing to open the blue curtain of silence. Because of her bravery and dedication ... we owe this brave modest trailblazer so much. Thank you, Jan, for your sacrifice and thank you on behalf of police families everywhere."
~ Mark Wynn, Lt. Nashville Police Department (retired) and international police trainer on domestic violence
“She trained thousands of police officers and detectives. She changed the lives of hundreds of survivors who believed they would never live to leave their abusive police officer husbands. ... She's helped prosecutors, lawyers, judges, child advocates and other police departments."
~colleague Pat Naujoks