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How to Divorce an Abusive Wife

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Kane County divorce lawyerAlthough women are statistically more likely to be abuse victims than perpetrators, women are just as capable of inflicting physical, mental, emotional, and psychological abuse as men. Sometimes, a woman in a same-sex relationship abuses her female partner. In other cases, the victim of the abuse is a woman’s boyfriend or husband. Although it is not talked about as frequently as other types of abuse, physical abuse against men is not uncommon. Approximately one out of every seven men has been the victim of intimate partner violence.

If you are ready to leave your abusive wife and get a divorce, you may understandably feel uncertain about the road ahead. Leaving an abusive spouse is not easy, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender. Read on to learn about your legal options in a situation like this.

Get an Order of Protection

Illinois laws protect all victims of domestic violence. If your wife has physically injured you, threatened you, or harassed you, do not wait for the situation to escalate before taking action. You can request an Emergency Order of Protection at your local county courthouse based on your testimony alone. Your wife’s presence is not required.

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIntimate partner violence is shockingly common. The CDC estimates that approximately one in five women and one in seven men have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Abuse may come in the form of physical violence, psychological manipulation, emotional abuse, or financial exploitation. Whatever the form it comes in, no one ever deserves to be abused by a romantic partner.

If you were threatened or abused by a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or ex, you may want to consider getting an emergency order of protection.  

What a Protection Order Can Do For You

Illinois courts offer several different kinds of protection orders. An emergency order of protection (EOP) is designed to be effective immediately. Often, petitioners can get an EOP on the same day they request it. Furthermore, EOPs are offered on an “ex parte” basis. This means that a formal hearing with both the petitioner (abuse victim) and respondent (abuser) is not required for the court to issue an EOP. If you are being abused by a current or former romantic partner, your partner does not need to be present for you to receive an EOP.

wheaton family lawyer for protective orders

There are multiple types of situations where a person may need to receive protection from domestic abuse or other harmful conduct. An order of protection can be used in these cases, and it can help a person leave an abusive situation, prevent their abuser from contacting them, and put other restrictions in place. In a recent blog, we looked at when an order of protection may be appropriate. As a follow-up, we wanted to look at the types of orders that are available and the process that is followed when a person asks for these types of protections.

Types of Orders of Protection

Most of the time, a victim of domestic abuse will file a petition for an emergency order of protection. This is also known as a temporary or “ex parte” order of protection, and a person can request a hearing before a judge where they will provide reasons for why the order is necessary. The respondent to the order does not need to be present at this hearing, and they will usually be notified after the order has been issued. 

St. Charles domestic violence attorneyFew people expect that they will need to protect themselves from a romantic partner. However, one out of four women and one out of nine men experience domestic violence, accounting for 15 percent of all violent crimes. Victims of domestic violence can take steps to escape an abusive situation by seeking help from an attorney and filing for an order of protection from their partner or spouse. However, even after escaping domestic abuse, many people struggle to move on and rebuild their lives.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a court-issued directive that provides legal protection for victims of domestic violence, abuse, or stalking. An order of protection can include a variety of requirements, including an order to stop the abuse, limits on contact between an abuser and his or her victims, and a requirement for the abuser to move out of a shared home. Having an order of protection in place can provide safety, and an alleged abuser can face serious consequences, including criminal charges, for violating the order. Police will take any domestic calls very seriously when a person has an order of protection in place.

Adjusting to Changes in Your Life

An order of protection can be crucial for ensuring a person’s safety in the short-term, but survivors of domestic violence or abuse often take time to cope with the long-term effects on their lives. The healing process is gradual and unique to each individual, but these suggestions can help you on the path toward building a happier and healthier life for yourself:

St. Charles domestic violence protection attorneyDid you know that, on average, 24 people per minute are victimized by physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States? This amounts to more than 12 million women and men each year. It is estimated that one in three women and one in four men in this country will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives. In addition, 75 percent of domestic violence victims have children living in the home with them. Efforts have been made to provide better protections from domestic violence, but there is still work to be done.

Domestic Violence Can Leave Victims Paralyzed by Fear

Domestic violence involves complex psychological effects for the women and men who experience it. In many cases, victims do not want their abuser arrested and jailed, they only want the abuse to stop. Fearing that involving law enforcement will upset their lives too much, many victims suffer in silence for years, not sharing with anyone the abuse they have been forced to endure. Orders of protection can be issued to keep abusers away from victims, but victims need to be able to depend on police departments and the court system to uphold those orders.

A Changing Culture

Thankfully, society has changed its attitudes about domestic violence over the last few decades. According to a 1987 survey, 50 percent of Americans thought it was acceptable for a husband to beat his wife with a belt. Ten years later, almost 90 percent said it was wrong—a percentage that largely holds to this day.

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