Some divorces and domestic splits become violent and threatening, with one spouse or partner placing the other in fear of physical harm to him- or herself or some other person. Sometimes the abuser will threaten harm to him- or herself. All of this behavior is, at its core, an attempt to assert power and control over a person or process the abuser feels he or she no longer has control over. Domestic violence and abuse can traumatize the victim, interfering with his or her daily life and any work-related and/or parental duties he or she might have. It can also negatively affect children and is even thought to cause health problems in pets.
A Jacksonville, Illinois man was shot and killed recently, allegedly by the man’s ex-father-in-law. Around the time of the man’s divorce, he sought and obtained an order of protection against his ex-wife, claiming that he feared for his life after his ex-wife allegedly threatened him with a handgun. Before the man was killed, court records appeared to show the man’s ex-wife allegedly violating the order of protection several times. Unfortunately, this man’s tragic experience is not unique. Although orders of protection are meant to protect victims of abuse and stalking from further harm, oftentimes violations of these orders go unreported by the victim or courts do not take sufficiently aggressive measures to deter future abuse. This leaves one to ponder: what “teeth” do orders of protection have in Illinois?
If you are a victim of domestic violence or constant harassment from your current or former partner, you can obtain an order of protection to protect yourself from him or her. An order of protection is a court-ordered set of rules regarding how an individual may interact with the individual who sought the order. It is a criminal offense to violate this set of rules. If you feel that you need to file for an order of protection from your spouse or another member of your household, contact an experienced attorney to learn more about what such an order can and cannot do.
Unfortunately, sometimes a marriage or a live-in relationship can get abusive and it’s hard to know what steps you can take to remove yourself from the situation. In Illinois, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) is a law that specifically forbids any family and household members from continuous abusive acts.