Although most of us wish it were not true, domestic violence is in fact a pretty serious issue in our country. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, almost one in four women in the U.S. will be physically assaulted or raped by a close partner at some time in their lives. Domestic violence is real, and it is a growing problem in our society. Surprisingly, most people are not aware of what domestic violence means exactly.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan states, on her website, that anyone who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family/household member has broken Illinois domestic violence law. ‘But who falls under the category of another family member or household member? Illinois State Police consider the following persons to fall under this category:
- Spouses or prior spouses
- Parents, children, or stepchildren
- Persons who formerly shared a house
- Persons who dated or were engaged, regardless of gender
- Persons who allegedly have a child in common
- Persons with disabilities and their personal assailants
While, for many people, a woman who is beaten by her boyfriend or husband comes to mind when the words ‘domestic violence’ is heard, it can actually occur in numerous situations. Domestic violence occurs in all socioeconomic, cultural, religious, racial, and age groups. It is present in all parts of the country and it can also be present in same-sex relationships.
On the bright side, there are solutions for those who have found themselves in abusive situations. An Order of Protection is a legal order from a judge that protects those victims of domestic violence. It provides protection by ordering the abuser to take certain actions (or prohibiting them from taking certain actions.) Orders of Protection can generally be obtained by contacting domestic violence programs or going to the local circuit clerk’s office.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or violence, do not hesitate to seek out assistance. Contact a devoted Illinois family law attorney who will support you in escaping the dangerous environment by obtaining an Order of Protection.