October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness and support victims of domestic abuse.
Illinois Domestic Abuse Laws
For Illinois victims, it is important to understand that domestic violence is a crime in the state. Anyone who physically attacks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal freedom of a family or household member is breaking the law under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.
Orders of Protection Against Illinois Domestic Abuse
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you may ask the court for an order of protection prohibiting an abuser from continued threats and abuse. This includes barring an abuser from entering a shared residence, require him or her to attend counseling, and require an abuser to turn over weapons to law enforcement.
Protecting Kids When Domestic Abuse is an Issue
For parents worried about an abuser having access to their kids, the court order can prohibit an abuser from hiding a child or taking a child out of state, award temporary physical and/or legal custody of the children to the victim, and specify visitation rights if any. An abuser may be ordered to pay support for minor children and any shelter and counseling services born by the victim as a result of the abuse.
What to Expect If You Contact the Police
If you are in danger contact 911. The police will act to prevent further abuse by arresting the abuser when appropriate and/or driving you to a medical facility, shelter, or another safe place. The officer will provide you details regarding your right to an Order of Protection.
An abuser is typically prohibited from contacting or reentering a residence for 72 hours following an arrest. If your abuser circles right back around, returning to the home or contacting you, call the police.
If you have an Order of Protection, violations are a Class A misdemeanor, a conviction for which could result in jail time and a fine. Subsequent violations to an Order of Protection may be charged as a felony.
How Can I Get an Order of Protection?
To obtain an order of protection, you can certainly get the paperwork at you court clerk’s office and seek an Order of Protection for yourself. However, if like many victims of domestic abuse, you would benefit from some support, you can ask an attorney to file an order for protection or contact a local domestic violence program such as A Safe Place for assistance in completing the forms.
Domestic Violence Resources
If you are a victim of domestic violence and are in imminent danger, contact the police immediately for help. Otherwise, there are many resources available to you.
National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE
Lake County’s A Safe Place or call the 24-hour Crisis Line at 847.249.4450 or 1-800.600.SAFE
Libertyville Illinois Domestic Abuse Attorney Ronald L Bell & Associates or call 847-495-6000
Domestic abuse is pervasive across the U.S. and around the globe – it is important to get the help you need to move away from an abuser and move toward a safe, healthful future for you and your children. Call Lake county domestic violence lawyer Ronald L Bell & Associates for help at 847-495-6000 or email us.