CHICAGO — The Cook County Domestic Violence Division has expanded its hours. Now, a judge is available during overnights and on weekends.

Now that remote meetings are a norm following the COVID-19 pandemic, judges will be able to provide emergency orders of protection over Zoom.

Up until now, victims of domestic violence in Cook County had to visit a judge during business hours.

For the most part it was Monday through Friday, 9-5,” said Executive Director at Connections for Abused Women and their Children Stephanie Love-Patterson.

Her organization is teaming up with Cook County to provide much needed assistance.

“We know in the domestic violence community, we know that domestic violence happens around the clock, so the fact that there’s an after-hours response and access is huge for victims and survivors of domestic violence,” she said.

Now, in addition to normal court hours, a judge will be available remotely to hear Emergency Orders of Protection.

The additional hours will include Monday through Friday between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. and on weekends from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.