Non-Physical Abuse is Domestic Violence

violence, Rolling Meadows domestic violence lawyersWhen you hear the words “domestic violence” do you imagine a bruised and battered spouse? While domestic abuse does often involve overt acts of physical violence, not all abusive relationships are obvious to others. In fact, many people who are in an abusive relationship may not even realize it. They incorrectly assume that because their abusive partner is not literally punching and kicking them that the spouse’s demeaning, frightening, or threatening behavior is not abuse. Nothing can be further from the truth. Read on to learn about the more subtle signs of domestic violence and what you can do if you are currently in an abusive relationship.

Humiliation, Threats, and Isolation Are Signs of Abuse

The laws regarding domestic violence are listed in section 750 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes and are collectively called the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. In the act, the word “abuse” is defined as “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation…” This means that according to the law, abuse does not have to be physical to be considered domestic violence.

If your partner purposely frightens, demeans, or threatens you, this is a form of domestic violence. A common way abusers control their victims is by isolating them from their friends and family. This is what “interference with personal liberty” refers to in the Domestic Violence Act. If your partner is not allowing you to make or receive phone calls, has forbidden you from getting a job, or otherwise controls where you go and who you interact with, this is abuse. Another tactic abusive partners use to control their victims is humiliation and intimidation. Abusive partners often make their victims feel ashamed, ridiculed, or afraid for their safety.

What Can I Do If I Am in an Abusive Relationship?

If you fear for your immediate safety or the safety of your children, call 911 and go to a safe location. You also have the options of seeking an order of protection which also referred to as a restraining order. An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) can be obtained from your local county courthouse. You do not need to prove that you were abused in order to be granted this protection order, but you will need to show that you fear for your safety or that of your children. You also do not have to tell the abuser that you have gotten this order.

The order can require the abusive partner to stay a certain distance away from the victim, the victim’s children, the victims place of work, and more. Emergency Orders last for 14 to 21 days. When an Illinois court issues an EOP, the court will also set a hearing date for a Plenary Order. The Plenary Order is a more permanent protective order which can last up to two years.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Domestic Violence Lawyer

For help filing a protection order, call the compassionate Arlington Heights domestic abuse attorneys at Cosley Law Office. Call 847-253-3100 for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/brochures/DVBrochure.pdf

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