The Illinois Domestic Violence Act

 Posted on February 18, 2016 in Domestic Violence

domestic-violenceThe Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 was passed in order to clearly define the actions that are considered to be domestic violence and give victims a legal process to protect themselves from their abusers. When an individual experiences domestic violence in his or her marriage, he or she may seek an order of protection against his or her spouse, as per this act. Once he or she is safe from further violence, he or she may consider seeking a divorce.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act Defines Who Is a Victim

Although many automatically assume that victims of domestic violence suffer at the hands of their intimate partners, there are actually many classes of individuals who can be defined as domestic violence victims. Under the Act, individuals who have any of the following types of relationship with their abusers are considered to be victims of domestic violence:

  • Current or former spouses;
  • Biological relatives;
  • Current or former housemates;
  • Children, either biological or adopted;
  • Individuals who have children in common with their alleged abusers;    
  • Individuals who date, are engaged to marry, or were once dating or engaged to their alleged abusers; and
  • Disabled individuals who allege that they were abused by their caregivers.    

What Does the Act Guarantee?

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act gives domestic violence victims the right to the following:

  •  The right to file an order of protection; and  
  • The right to seek criminal charges against an allegedly abusive individual.    

Laws like this are important because they give domestic violence claims legitimacy. In the United States and in many countries across the world, domestic violence is an under-reported problem. Victims are often afraid of facing further abuse if they report their experiences or even might not realize that they are victims, due to certain cultural values or a lack of information about what an abusive relationship really looks like. Many victims of emotional, psychological, or financial abuse do not realize that they are victims because they are not suffering from physical violence. But these, as well as sexual and physical abuse, can have long-lasting negative effects on an individual. If you or somebody you know is in an unsafe relationship, seek help from the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This organization provides resources like safety planning, intervention services, and a 24-hour hotline for victims to use to get out of their homes.

Work with an Illinois Divorce Attorney

If you are facing domestic violence in your relationship, you need to get out of your marriage. Make your health and safety your top priority and get yourself to a safe place where you can begin the legal process of ending your marriage. Once you are in a safe place, contact our team of experienced Kane County divorce attorneys at our office to schedule your initial legal consultation with us. We are here to help individuals like you get out of unsafe marriages and move forward with their lives.






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