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Cook County family law attorneyChild abuse and other forms of domestic violence are real and serious threats that affect millions of Americans every year. Sadly, in Illinois alone, it is estimated that thousands of children are neglected or abused each year.

Unfortunately, some parents use the seriousness of abuse charges to attempt to revoke parental responsibilities from a child’s other parent. This may stem from misunderstandings based on different disciplinary approaches, knowing exaggerations, or outright lies. Whatever the reason behind the accusation, you need to know your rights and what you can do to protect yourself and your relationship with your child.

Is DCFS Involved?

If you have been accused of child abuse, you may be contacted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS must take every allegation of abuse seriously; therefore, even if the accusations against you are untrue, you may have to deal with a formal investigation.

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emergency, Arlington Heights domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence is sadly a common reality for many families in Illinois and across the country. Domestic violence refers to violence, both emotional and physical, against a family member, housemate, or romantic partner. If you are in an abusive relationship, you should know that you are not alone. There are many resources which can help you bring your abuser to justice and move on to a better life. One of these resources is an emergency order of protection.

How Can a Protective Order Benefit Me and My Family?

There are several ways that getting a protective order can help you and your children. A protection order, called a restraining order in other states, is a legally-binding document which prohibits a dangerous or abusive individual from being in contact with you and/or your children. The order can be customized for your particular situation. A protection order may:

  • Prevent the abusive person from calling, texting, or otherwise contacting you or your children;
  • Prohibit the abuser from entering your home, even if he or she lives there;
  • Require the abuser to surrender his or her firearms;
  • Make temporary modifications to your shared parenting time arrangement;
  • Prohibit the abuser from taking your property or property that you own together; and
  • Include other provisions which will help keep you or your children safe from harm.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a protective order is that you can call the police and have the abusive person immediately arrested if he or she violates any provision stated in the order. Furthermore, an order of protection is an important piece of evidence for getting further protection from an abusive partner or for child custody purposes.

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Posted on in Domestic Abuse

abusive, Rolling Meadows domestic violence attorneyDomestic violence affects every gender, race, and income level. Sadly, abusive relationships can happen to anyone. Many people are fully invested in a romantic relationship before they realize that it is becoming abusive. This can make it even more difficult for victims of domestic violence and abuse to leave these relationships. If you are in a relationship you think may be abusive, read on to learn about some of the first signs of domestic violence in romantic relationships.

Domestic Violence Defined

Although domestic violence can involve non-romantic close relationships like parent-child, domestic violence at the hands of a romantic partner is the most common type. Also called intimate partner violence, domestic violence includes behaviors that hurt, scare, threaten, or prevent a partner from being independent. It can involve physical and sexual violence, intimidation, emotional or psychological abuse and financial exploitation. Many abusive individuals may seem charming and loving at the beginning of a relationship, but then start showing their true colors.

Red Flags That May Indicate Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can look dramatically different from relationship to relationship. Some abusive partners are obviously violent while others use subtle manipulation or threats to control their partner. The common theme of all abusive relationships is that one person attempts to gain power and control over the other. Domestic violence takes innumerable forms. For example, an abusive individual may:

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emergency, Rolling Meadows order of protection lawyerDespite countless public education campaigns and social efforts, domestic violence and abuse continue to plague millions of families around the country, including many victims here in Illinois. Public awareness of the problem offers little consolation to a victim who is currently being terrorized in his or her own home or place of employment. That is why, in addition to taking steps to eliminating domestic abuse, it is so important to understand what your options are if and when you are being abused by an intimate partner or family member.

Get to a Safe Location

If domestic violence is part of your daily reality, you need to take action to protect yourself and, if applicable, your children. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, your best option may be to temporarily leave your home and to stay with a trusted friend or family member. Resist the temptation to let your abuser know where you have gone, even if the abuser is your child’s other parent. Your safety and that of your child must be your top priority.

Filing for an Order of Protection

Once you are in a safe place, you can then take steps to limit contact with your abuser. This can be done by filing for an emergency order of protection with the county court in which you live. A judge can issue an emergency order of protection based on the testimony you provide in an affidavit, without giving your abuser the ability to refute your claims at that time. The emergency order may:

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doorbell, Rolling Meadows Domestic Violence LawyerOver the last few days, social media outlets have been flooded with reposts of a video taken by a home security system in a Texas neighborhood. In the video, a partially-dressed woman can be seen with what appear to be broken restraints hanging from her arms as she rang the doorbell of a Texas home in the middle of the night. Now, authorities say the woman has been found safe and that she was a victim of domestic violence.

“It Was Very Odd”

Jennie Drude posted the original video last weekend. The mysterious woman was ringing doorbells in Drude’s neighborhood in the dead of night. Drude and a friend first sought advice from neighbors on a community Facebook page before posting the video in the hopes that the woman could be identified. “It was very odd to have a neighbor that would do something like this,” Drude said.

On Wednesday, a break in the case came, but it was not all good news. Just down the street from Drude, police responded to a call about a man threatening to kill himself. By the time the police arrived, the 49-year-old was dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. The man’s suicide note referenced his 32-year-old girlfriend, who was not present at the scene, according to police.

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