During the Covid 19 shutdown, calls to police and domestic abuse hotlines have exploded across the country. With abusers home 24/7, many victims of domestic violence are reaching out for help to escape a bad situation, help which includes Orders of Protection to prevent ongoing abuse.
An Order of Protection is a court order that prohibits an abuser from continuing threats and abuse. This abuse may be harassment or intimidation. It may include willful deprivation or interference with personal liberty such as taking a victim’s wallet or car keys or preventing a victim from leaving a room or dwelling. Abuse can be physical in nature, sometimes resulting in minor or serious injuries or, result in unseen injuries of emotional and mental duress.
Illinois Orders of Protection
Using an Order of Protection, an abuser can be ordered to refrain from drugs and alcohol in the home – a driver of many domestic violence issues – or an abuser may be ordered to stay away from victims and other persons protected by the order all together. The court can include temporary orders granting a victim of domestic violence temporary physical and legal custody of children and order the abuser to pay child support and other costs a victim may incur because of the abuse including shelter and counseling services. Orders of protection and accompanying temporary orders are designed to be responsive to the unique circumstances victims of abuse face in real time, providing needed legal teeth to keep an abuser away.
What to Do If You are a Victim of Domestic Violence
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Law enforcement will arrest an abuser when appropriate and arrange for victims and their children to go to a safe place. Your rights to an Order of Protection will be discussed and may be acted upon to prevent the abusive behavior from continuing. If the threat is not imminent, it is important to act before the situation escalates, becomes volatile. Consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or a local lake county shelter such as A Safe Place at 800-600-SAFE to gain strength and support, information and resources to be able to move on. An experienced domestic violence attorney can help talk through your options, provide information and resources, and help you to file protective and temporary orders as needed while working toward a more permanent solution as part of a divorce or legal separation.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney for Help
Making the call is the first step to ending domestic abuse and the beginning of a life of respect, dignity and hope everyone deserves. If you or a family member is a victim of domestic violence, contact the Lake county IL family law offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates for help at 847-495-6000.