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What can an order of protection do to stop domestic violence?

Domestic violence happens all too often in Illinois and across the entire U.S. While there are many ways in which abuse can take place, such as physical abuse and emotional abuse, those who are victimized might not know what they can do to put a stop to it. Fear and the misapplied belief that law enforcement or the legal system can only stop the problem for a brief time might lead to a person who should seek help choosing not to do so. Understanding how a protective order can help is the first step to pursuing such a remedy.

With an order of protection, the court will issue a restriction on a person who has been abusive to a family member. With the order of protection, there can be the following: a prohibition of the person who is alleged to have committed the abuse from continuing with the behavior; ordering the abuser out of the home; ordering the abuser out of the home while he or she is using drugs or alcohol; ordering the abuser to keep a certain distance between him or her and those who are listed as protected on the order; order the abuser to take part in counseling; stop the abuser from taking children from the relationship or hiding them while providing temporary custody to the parent who has been abused; order the abuser to surrender any weapons; and stop the abuser from taking part in other behaviors.

There are several ways to get an order of protection. They include: calling a domestic violence program for assistance; getting help from an attorney to file a civil court case; asking for such an order along with a divorce proceeding; asking for the order while a criminal prosecution is underway; and going to the local circuit court to seek the order.

No one has to take abuse in the home and there are strategies that can be used to put a stop to it in a legal manner that has consequences if the order is violated. Those who are considering seeking a protective order should make sure to get more information about the order itself and with pursuing a divorce.

Source: illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, "Domestic Violence," accessed on Oct. 18, 2016

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