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Wheaton domestic violence attorneysAccording to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), as many as one in three women and one in four men will experience at least some level of domestic abuse in their lifetimes. Of those, one in three women and one in nine men will experience severe abuse. As alarming as these statistics are, victims can lead a normal, healthy, and functional life after a violent relationship. The first step is recognizing that there may be a problem. 

Early Signs of Domestic Violence 

Contrary to what some people may believe, abusive relationships rarely start out violent. In fact, most abusers are quite skilled at being charming, and while they may come on strong, their actions and behaviors seem loving and genuine. In time, things change and these early signs of domestic violence start to emerge, such as:

  • The abuser wrongfully accusing the victim of cheating or flirting;
  • The abuser losing their temper and throwing or breaking things;
  • The abuser attempting to impose stereotypical gender roles;
  • The abuser accusing the victim of changing and blaming their actions on this;
  • The abuser being unreasonably jealous of friends, co-workers, and other family members;
  • The abuser attempting to isolate the victim from their social circle;
  • The abuser telling the victim that everyone else is bad for them;
  • The abuser making excuses after losing their temper;
  • The abuser referring to their cruelty as a “joking;”
  • The abuser pressuring the victim into sexual activities;
  • The abuser attempting to control money, transportation, or internet and cell phone usage; or
  • The abuser going through the victim’s phone or personal belongings, looking for “evidence.” 

Signs the Abuse is Progressing 

Once the abuser has a foothold, the violence may escalate. Rather than simply yell or throw things, they may pinch, bite, shove, or slap the victim. Once the physical aspects start, the cycle becomes more vicious, often to the point that victims will do anything to avoid setting off their abuser. 

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Illinois domestic violence lawyersVictims of abuse often assume that a documented history of violence will protect them and their children during and after a divorce. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Instead, abusive spouses often use their children as a way to get close to the victim again. The means and methods for doing so vary from one case to the next, but with proper advocacy and protection, victims and their children can reduce the risk of future abuse. Learn more in the following sections, including how the assistance of a seasoned divorce attorney can help to mitigate against the issues that often arise in a divorce from an abusive partner. 

Make Safety Your Primary Focus

Divorce is a complex process, with many pitfalls, but the biggest threat to victims of domestic violence is that of continued abuse. As such, the primary focus should be safety. Create a safety plan and, if necessary, obtain an order of protection. If the children are not covered under the order of protection (which is a possibility), then victims are encouraged to make child exchanges in a safe, public place (i.e. the police station). Do not engage in arguments and never agree to meet your spouse alone - not even to talk about the children. Instead, seek assistance and support from an experienced attorney. 

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DuPage County family law attorneys, orders of protectionIf you have a temporary order of protection issued by an Illinois court to protect your safety and that of your family, it can be terrifying to think about what the abuser may do when the designated time period expires. By its terms, a typical restraining order may last anywhere from a few weeks up to a couple of years, depending on the circumstances.

Fortunately, Illinois law does provide alternatives to letting an order of protection expire, but the process to extend or modify can be complicated. An attorney with experience in restraining orders can tell you more about the proceedings.

Types of Orders of Protection Under Illinois Law

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DuPage County family law attorney, orders of protectionIf you are in a situation where you fear for your own safety due to the actions of another person, Illinois law does provide you with options to protect yourself. Sometimes termed a “restraining order,” an order of protection can prevent harm by mandating that an abuser avoid contact or communication with you. It is critical to consult with an experienced DuPage County restraining order attorney about the three different types of orders of protection right away, before any further violence impacts your life.

Emergency Orders of Protection

Under Illinois law, you can obtain an emergency order to protect against violence solely through your own testimony to a judge, without the typical procedural rules that would apply in other cases. You do not have to notify the abuser and he or she does not have to appear in court, when the harm you are trying to prevent will likely happen if proper notice is delivered.

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domestic violence, domestic violence and children, DuPage County family law attorneysStudies show that children who witness a domestic violence attack grow up feeling isolated and vulnerable. Witnessing an incident can mean more than just seeing an attack happen. It can also mean a child hearing threats or fighting noises of an abusive situation, or observing the aftermath such as blood, bruises, crying, torn clothing, and broken items around the house. All of these can have long term effects on the child of an abusive relationship.

Exposed children can become more fearful or anxious when put into certain situations. This can result in keeping a secret from the rest of their family, whom could have helped the victim otherwise. In some cases, the burden of keeping this undisclosed information can cause adolescents to blame themselves for the abuse they witnessed and think that if they would have told someone or done something about it, then the abuse would not have continued. In extreme cases, children can become emotionally, physically, or even psychologically abandoned.

Domestic violence lawsuits may result in limited visitation for parents if their child has been affected. The option of having police present to be protected from an alleged abuser can be given in court. Children are often affected by domestic violence because the abuse must be committed by a family, spouse, parents, those who have children in common, or have been or are in a dating or engagement relationship.

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domestic violence concernsDomestic violence is an issue being discussed in communities across the country, but often has similar factors at play no matter where it takes place. A recently published news article examines the topic of domestic violence from some familiar angles in order to shed light on questions, such as why victims stay in abusive relationships and some of the more common warning signs of domestic violence. This information is useful no matter where domestic violence takes place.

Why Victims Stay

Many times, when discussing the topic or a specific incident of domestic violence, the question comes up as to why the victim stays with his or her abuser. To some, the prospect of leaving an abusive relationship may seem like an obvious choice. However, to those involved in such a relationship, it is not always that easy.

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

domestic violence dataThe issue of domestic violence continues to be a popular topic in national news. Many describe it as an epidemic, perhaps in part due to its inherent capability to reach broad bases of socioeconomic victims as well we perpetrators. Likely due in large part to the media attention this topic has received recently, data regarding domestic violence is being analyzed by experts on a frequent basis.

Data Reports

Statistically speaking, there are two very different sides to the story when it comes to matters of domestic violence. On one hand, states that incidents of domestic violence between romantic partners has dropped by about 60 percent since the mid-1990s, according to figures released by the Justice Department. However, that decrease has been essentially stalled since approximately 2004, with similar numbers holding constant for the past several years. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 “serious” violence incidents involving intimate partners were committed per day in 2013. Such incidents are defined as involving either sexual assault or aggravated physical assault.

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illinois order of protectionDomestic violence is a significant problem for many individuals, and a serious crime for offenders. It is defined as the hitting, choking, kicking, threatening, harassing, or interfering with the personal liberty of another by a family or household member. Victims of domestic violence can often secure an order of protection against the abuser as long as he or she fits into the class of persons defined as family or household members.

Order of Protection

Information on the Illinois Attorney General’s website provides that an order of protection is an order from the court that restricts an abuser from engaging in harmful acts towards their victim and is only available to household or family members. An order of protection can act in the following ways, including others:

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domestic violence, domestic abuse, Illinois domestic violence lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyDomestic violence includes acts of violence that occur between current and former romantic partners. Many different types of acts may be considered domestic violence, as a wide range of actions may cause physical or psychological harm to the victim. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States, with the statistic that a woman is beaten every 15 seconds. While its direct effects on the victim are often far too obvious, it affects all family members, especially where children are involved.

The Extent of the Problem

Many incidents of domestic violence are never reported, which makes particularly accurate information hard to come by. Still, many aspects of the problem are known. Domestic violence is something that can affect anyone, from any social, economic, ethnic, cultural, or age group. It does not discriminate based on type or nature of the relationship.

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order of protection, restraining order, domestic abuse, domestic violence, family lawyerDomestic violence is a serious issue that plagues many more people than some realize. When a person thinks about domestic violence, it is usually within the context of a romantic relationship, but the legal definition expands beyond those terms. For those who are the victims of such violence, protection is available and can be legally enforced.

Domestic Violence

Although the majority of domestic violence cases likely occur between two people who are or were romantically involved, there are other situations that also give rise to domestic violence according to law, and they deserve attention as well. In order to have a request for an order of protection granted, the person must demonstrate that they are the victim of domestic violence. For this purpose, the law defines domestic violence as:

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In Illinois, and any other state for that matter, victims of domestic abuse and violence may seek safety through what is called an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a legal court document, signed by a judge, that explicitly orders one individual (the abuser) to stay away from or to stop a certain behavior toward another individual (the victim.) The person who files for the order is referred to as the “petitioner”, while the person against which the order has been filed is known as the “respondent.” If the respondent fails to adhere to the rules listed in the Order of Protection, they will very likely be arrested. order of protection IMAGEThere are three different types of Orders of Protection, the first and least temporary one known as an Emergency Order of Protection. These are typically granted right away so as to stop abuse as soon as possible and only last for 14 to 21 days. If the petitioner wishes to have the abuser removed from the shared home, the judge must believe that the immediate danger of abuse is greater than the hardship to the abuser of being spontaneously removed from his or her home. The second type of Order is called an Interim Order of Protection. These orders last up to 30 days, a bit longer than the emergency orders. These are granted by a judge while waiting for something else to happen-typically a hearing or a trial. You do not need to have a full court hearing to be granted an interim order, the abuser is required to make an initial appearance before the court or have been notified of the date of the hearing. Interim orders are typically used to cover the time between your emergency order’s termination and the full court hearing for a longer-lasting plenary order. The third and most permanent Order of Protection is the Plenary order. These are only granted after a full court hearing in which both the abuser and victim have a chance to present evidence. They may last for up to two years and may be renewed as many times as you wish. If you or someone you know has a question about obtaining an Order of Protection, feel free to contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

Posted on in Domestic Violence
Domestic violence” is a term that we hear from friends, family, teachers, the television, etc. However, there is sometimes a bit of confusion as to what exactly domestic violence, or abuse, can include. Abuse does not solely mean physical violence. According to Illinois State Police, domestic abuse can also refer to harassment (creating disturbances at work, repeatedly telephoning, following or watching you, threatening to harm you), making a child or other person watch abuse, forcing you to do something you don’t want to do, or denying a disabled person access to needed care.  These acts are considered domestic abuse if they are carried out by a family or household member. Under Illinois law, a family or household member can be any of the following:
  • Family members related by blood or marriage
  • People who are married or used to be married
  • People who share or used to share a home, apartment, etc.
  • People who have or say they have a child in common
  • People who have or say they have a blood relationship through a child
  • People who are dating or used to date
  • People with disabilities and their personal assistants
Sometimes, domestic violence can start out as small acts of abuse and control. For example, a potentially abusive partner can start things out by keeping track of the other’s schedule and whereabouts, being bossy or demanding, blaming others for his or her mistakes, accusing the other of flirting or cheating, constantly criticizing the other, controlling all of the money, or even simply humiliating the other in front of others. There are many other indicators of potential violence, but these are just a few. If you or someone you know is being abused by a partner, or believe there is potential for abuse in the future, you do not have to go through it alone. Do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney to assist you in obtaining an Order of Protection.

illinois-domestic-violenceMany people like to believe that if someone close to them like a family member is being abused, they will know and can help, but that is not always the case. The comforts about domestic violence that we often tell ourselves are infrequently true. DomesticViolence.org explains the faults in many of these myths and family law tips as follows: 1. If the abuse is really bad, the victim would leave. Leaving an abuser physically or emotionally will not stop him from going after his victim. Trying to get away could also anger the abuser and worsen the abuse. According to the United States Department of Justice, the most dangerous time for a victim is when she tries to leave. 2. There is no domestic violence in my community. In one year alone, the state police of Michigan concluded that a woman was killed about once a week by a partner or former partner. 3. Only women of color and poor women are victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence has no filter. Victims range in age, religion, culture, class, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender. Although it is less frequent, men are victims of domestic violence too, along with white and rich women. 4. Domestic violence is caused by mental illness, drug abuse, alcohol, and stress. Mental illness and drug abuse are often used as excuses rather than being actual causes of domestic violence. 5. What happens between a husband and wife is a private and personal matter. Domestic violence commonly affects more than just the abuser and the first partner/victim. The American Psychological Association reported that 40 percent to 60 percent of men who abuse women also abuse children. Sometimes the abuse becomes more serious and the victim is killed through the abuse, 30 percent of female murder victims in 1996 were killed by husbands and boyfriends according to the FBI. This abuse happens all around us without anyone knowing until it is much too late for the victims. If you are a victim of domestic abuse or you know a victim, contact a family law attorney for assistance to get safely out of the relationship. Illinois family lawyers at the Davi Law Group can help a victim file charges against his or her abuser and safely stay away for good. We have locations in Warrenville and Wheaton, Illinois.

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