Who Is Protected under the Illinois Domestic Violence Law?

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a national problem. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four women and one in seven men suffer domestic violence behavior from an intimate partner during their lifetime. This includes one in three women and close to one in six men sustaining some type of sexual violence as well. Additionally, many news sources have reported a rise in domestic violence behavior since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This was reported by the medical site webmd.com, for example, where a major hospital in Massachusetts showed a large spike of domestic violence incidents in its patients who had to seek emergency medical care due to physical harm.

Need a protective order due to domestic violence in Chicago? Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 to get the legal help you need or contact us online.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986

Illinois enacted its domestic violence law in 1986; this law defines what domestic violence can consist of as well as to whom it pertains and more. The law starts out by stating its purposes.

One of those reads as follows: “Recognize domestic violence as a serious crime against the individual and society which produces family disharmony in thousands of Illinois families, promotes a pattern of escalating violence which frequently culminates in intra-family homicide, and creates an emotional atmosphere that is not conducive to healthy childhood development.” It goes on to add that the law was written to “expand the civil and criminal remedies for victims of domestic violence; including, when necessary, the remedies which effect physical separation of the parties to prevent further abuse.” Thus, the law allows for protective orders.

This law defines domestic abuse as the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Harassment
  • Intimidation of a dependent
  • Interference with personal liberty or
  • Willful deprivation but does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent or guardian

Those Protected under the Law

This law also provides a detailed list of the persons who are protected from domestic abuse in the state.

These persons include family and household members such as:

  • Spouses
  • Former spouses
  • Parents and stepparents
  • Children and stepchildren
  • Person related by blood
  • Persons related by present or prior marriages
  • Persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling
  • Persons who have or allegedly have a child in common
  • Persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child
  • Persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship
  • Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants or caregivers

The law goes on to define such concepts as physical abuse, willful deprivation, and what it means to “stay away” from the person protected under a civil protection order.

Get a Protective Order with Help from the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.

At our firm, we understand that no one should have to suffer the harmful actions of domestic abuse. Our legal team is here to provide experienced legal help in handling such difficult family law matters with confidentiality, skill, and care. If you or someone you know has suffered some type of domestic violence, you can rely on us to help you obtain emergency, interim, or final protection orders that are designed to keep you and any children involved safe from abuse.

Contact us at (312) 487-2795 to get the legal help you need today.

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