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Illinois Domestic Violence Act

In 1982, Illinois passed the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA). The act offers safety provisions for survivors of domestic violence and their children by holding the person that is/was abusing them accountable in the criminal and civil justice systems in Illinois. The IDVA statute includes not only criminal charges that may be pursued against people that choose to abuse, but also gives survivors an opportunity to petition the courts for an Order of Protection.

Domestic violence is defined as follows in Illinois for the purposes of obtaining an order of protection:

Domestic violence includes:
•  Physical abuse
•  Threats that put you in fear of physical harm
•  Unlawful imprisonment
•  Harassment
•  Stalking
•  Intimidation of a dependent
•  Interference with personal liberty.*

An Order of Protection is a court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family from the abuser. Orders of Protection may also be called protection orders. They offer civil legal protection from domestic violence to both men and women victims, as well as to a minor.* 750 ILCS 60/103

In 1986, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act was revised to allow for greater government focus on the problem of domestic violence. The revisions were additionally strengthened by Illinois Supreme Court rulings that mandate law enforcement to protect victims of domestic abuse. According to Illinois law, police officers must take steps to protect a victim of domestic abuse whenever a family or household member has committed any act of abuse.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act protects domestic violence victims who have or had a relationship with their abusers. Under Illinois law family or household members are defined as:
•  Family members related by blood;
•  People who are married or used to be married;
•  People who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common
•  People who have or allegedly have child in common or a blood relationship
   through a child in common;
•  People who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex
   couples; and
•  People with disabilities and their personal assistants.

For additional information, contact the Crisis Center Court Advocates at:
Bridgeview: 708.974-6265
Markham: 708.232.4651

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