Your marriage is no place for violence or abuse. If you have experienced any type of emotional, physical, or mental abuse from your spouse, you have the right to leave your marriage and seek a healthy, happy life for yourself. If you are in immediate danger of any type of violence against yourself or your children, get out now. The Illinois Domestic Abuse hotline is 1-877-863-6339. It is free, multilingual, and available to you 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Once you have safely left your spouse, the next step is to seek a restraining order against him or her or possibly a divorce. An experienced attorney can help you with both of these issues. You do not deserve the abuse – when your marriage becomes hostile, it is time to leave.
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986
In 1986, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act was passed. Under this act, police are required to respond to any report of abuse by a member of the victim’s family or household. This includes current and former spouses, parents, children, former boyfriends, girlfriends and fiances, stepchildren, caretakers for individuals with disabilities, current and former roommates, and individuals who have a proven or alleged child in common with the victim.
Under this act, the term “abuse” is defined as the following behaviors:
- Unwanted sexual contact;
- Denial of care for those with special needs;
- All forms of harassment;
- Attempting to prevent the victim from leaving;
- Denying the victim the right to see his or her children;
- Making the victim do something he or she does not want to do; and
- Exposing a child or other household member to repeated instances of abuse.
Despite common stereotypes, domestic violence does not only affect women, certain races, the uneducated or the poor. Abuse can occur in families of all races, income levels, and education levels. Men can be victims of domestic violence just as easily as women, though they report it less frequently.
Seeking an Order of Protection Against an Abuser
Victims of domestic abuse can seek orders of protection from their abusers. This court-ordered restraint creates a set of rules about the interactions that the abuser may and may not have with his or her victim. If the abuser, known as a “respondent” in an order of protection’s language, violates any of the requirements set in the order, he or she may be arrested.
Family Attorneys Can Help
Once you are out of your abusive relationship, your next step is to decide how to proceed with protecting yourself and rebuilding your life. Call the Oak Brook family law attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at (877) 889-4515 to discuss your rights and legal options as a victim of domestic abuse. You deserve to have your life back.