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IL family lawyerMany are surprised to learn just how common domestic violence is in Illinois. Sadly, violence between spouses, romantic partners, family members, and housemates happens in millions of homes across the Prairie State. It is estimated that over 40 percent of women and 26 percent of men in Illinois have been victims of intimate partner violence or violence between current or former romantic partners.

If you have been abused by a family member or romantic partner, you are not alone. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children. One of the most important of these steps is seeking an order of protection.

A Plenary Order of Protection Can Last Two Years

In previous blogs, we have discussed the way an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) can protect domestic violence victims from further abuse. EOPs are a crucial first step for many abuse victims. However, EOPs only last a few weeks. Plenary Orders of Protection are long-term protection orders which may prevent an abuser from contacting the victim, coming to the victim’s home or work, and more.

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Will County family law attorneySadly, domestic violence and abuse are not uncommon in Illinois. Research shows that over 40 percent of women and over 25 percent of men in Illinois have suffered abuse from a spouse or romantic partner. No one should ever have to tolerate this type of mistreatment. Fortunately, there are legal protections available in Illinois that can help you escape an abusive relationship.

If you are like many people, you may be unsure of whether the mistreatment you have endured counts as abuse. You may wonder, “Is psychological manipulation considered abuse?” or “What if I do not have physical marks from the abuse?” Read on to learn what is considered abuse according to Illinois law and what you should do if you have been abused by an intimate partner.

Abuse is Not Always Physical

When you picture an abused husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend, you may picture someone with a black eye or other physical injuries. While physical abuse like punching, slapping, pushing, and kicking certainly is abuse, this is not the only type of abuse a person can endure.

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Will County domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence and abuse are extremely prevalent in today’s society. However, we rarely talk about it. Some victims of domestic violence believe that the abuser will change or that the abuse was an isolated event. Others are unsure of whether the mistreatment they are suffering is even considered abuse under Illinois law. If you have been assaulted, abused, or threatened by a family member, current or ex romantic partner, or current or former housemate, read on to learn about Emergency Orders of Protection in Illinois.

Is The Situation “Bad Enough” for a Protection Order?

Men and women of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels can find themselves the victims of threats, intimidation, or violence. No one should ever be forced to tolerate a situation that makes them afraid for their safety or the safety of their children. However, many victims never get a protection order or restraining order because they assume that the mistreatment has not crossed the line into abuse.

It is important to remember that domestic violence often escalates. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abusive people often escalate their behavior when they feel like they are losing control over the victim. If you feel unsafe, do not wait to take action.

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Joliet IL family law attorneyDomestic abuse is a problem that affects millions of people throughout the United States, but many people are reluctant to admit that they have been victims or take action to protect themselves. If you, your child, or another loved one has suffered from abuse from someone in your household, you should know that it is possible to seek help through the Illinois legal system by petitioning for an order of protection. A protective order may be warranted in more situations than you would expect, and it is important to understand how to go about obtaining one.

Reasons to Petition For an Order of Protection

An Illinois order of protection can provide safety from many different forms of domestic abuse. Physical violence may be the most obvious form of abuse from which a person needs protection, but it is certainly not the only one. You can also file an order of protection in response to willful deprivation of food, shelter, medical care, and other needs, or in response to certain forms of emotional abuse, including threats, intimidation, harassment, and surveillance. If you believe that you or someone in your household has been victimized by any of these behaviors, you should consult with an attorney to understand your options for protection.

Can I File a Petition?

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse from your spouse, parent, sibling, or another member of your household, you have the right to petition the court for an order of protection for yourself, as well as your children who may be at risk. However, you need not be a victim yourself in order to file a petition. Illinois law also allows anyone to file for an order of protection on behalf of a minor child or a disabled adult who cannot file on their own. If, for example, you have witnessed abuse between other members of your household, or you are aware of abuse toward your child when they are staying with their other parent, you can take action to help protect the victim.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_protection-order-domestic-violence.jpgDomestic violence is a serious and widespread problem in Illinois and throughout the United States., and it is important for victims and those under threat to know where they can turn for help. One of the most powerful shields from domestic violence is an order of protection issued by the court and enforced by local law enforcement. An order of protection can grant many different kinds of relief, including prohibiting an alleged abuser from engaging in abusive behavior or coming near a person or their children at work or school. Perhaps the most significant--and most complicated--form of relief is a grant of exclusive possession of the residence.

Considerations When Granting Exclusive Possession

In a legal proceeding involving an order of protection, the person requesting protection is known as the petitioner, and the alleged abuser is known as the respondent. When the court grants exclusive possession of the residence, this means that the respondent is ordered to stay away from the location where the petitioner lives, even when the respondent shares that residence and fully or partially owns or leases it.

In deciding whether to grant exclusive possession of the residence, the court will consider two important factors. First, the court must determine whether the petitioner has a right to occupancy of the residence. As the petitioner, you have a right to occupancy if you own or rent the residence on your own or with someone else, including the respondent. Even if you do not own or rent the residence, you may have a right to occupancy if the owner authorizes it. You also may have the right to occupancy if the person who owns or leases the residence is your spouse or someone who has a legal duty to support you or your child. In many cases, this means the respondent.

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