Domestic violence occurs often in Illinois. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Many times, no one knows about the abuse except for the family that is involved. There are also many different forms of abuse. Most of the time people associate physical violence with domestic abuse, but that is not the only form of abuse. There is also emotional abuse and controlling behavior. The law in Illinois recognizes that there are many different kinds of domestic abuse and provides protection against more than just physical violence.
The law protects people from harassment as well. This includes behavior that has no purpose other than to cause another individual emotional distress. This type of behavior includes repeatedly calling another individual, making a disturbance at their work or school, following them, watching another person by waiting outside their home, car, work or other places. It also includes unlawfully keeping a child away from another parent or threatening to do so.
Domestic abuse can also include interference with physical liberty. This means threatening physical abuse or harassment in order to force another family member to either do something they have the right not to do or to get them to stop doing something they have a right to do. This is a form of controlling the other person without actually hurting them or harassing them.
Another form of abuse is the intimidation of a dependent. This means forcing a child or adult dependent to witness domestic violence or to participate in it in some way. It also includes if a family member willfully denies a dependent medical attention, medication, food or shelter, physical assistance or a therapeutic device that the dependent needs.
Unfortunately, domestic violence continues to occur in Illinois. However, there are steps the abused can do to protect themselves. One step is obtaining an order of protection to prohibit the abuser from having any contact with the victim of the abuse. Experienced attorneys understand the devastation of domestic violence and may be able to help one protect themselves.
Source: Illinois General Assembly, “750 ILCS 60/103,” accessed on June 30, 2015