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Tougher penalties in place for domestic abusers in Illinois


Abuse occurs in many homes in Illinois. Sometimes it is verbal or emotional abuse and other times there is also physical abuse. The abuse can be between adults in the home and other times it will also include the children as well. Any form of domestic violence can have a devastating effect on the victims' lives. The effects can also last for a very long time, especially if there is repeat abuse in the home.

New legislation went into effect in Illinois at the start of 2014 that increases the penalties for repeat domestic abusers. The goal of the law is to cut down on the amount of domestic abuse in homes. The penalties increase for each subsequent domestic abuse conviction. A repeat offender would be looking at one to three years in jail for their second conviction and if the person has four or more convictions they could face up to seven years in jail.

The goal of the new law is to protect the victims of domestic abuse by putting the abusers in jail for longer periods of time. However, there are also other actions victims can take to help protect themselves. For example victims of spousal abuse can file for orders of protection. These orders are a type of restraining order that make it illegal for a person to come within a certain distance of the victim and can make any communication between the victim and the abuser illegal.

There are different types of orders for protection depending on the circumstances and each last different periods of time. If there is a serious threat of repeat abuse, the victim may be able to obtain a plenary order, which is for situations where long-term protection is needed.

Despite the laws that are in place to deter domestic violence, there are still many instances of domestic abuse in Illinois. The victims may be able to help protect themselves through orders of protection, though. Attorneys understand the issues involved with serious domestic problems and may be able to help a person obtain some protection.

Source: Plainfield Patch, "State Rep. McAsey: New law increases penalties against repeat domestic abusers," Ron Kremer, Jan. 16, 2014

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