Basic rights, options for domestic violence victims
It is an unfortunate reality that, despite all of the awareness campaigns and other efforts, some relationships wind up marred by domestic violence.
These sorts of family situations, when they are intertwined with a divorce or child custody proceeding, require some special sensitivity in order to ensure the safety and protection of victims. In particular, it is important for victims to understand exactly what options they have in the event they need assistance in getting out of a dangerous situation while protecting their legal rights.
Illinois laws allow victims to get protective orders, also called orders of protection, in a number of different situations. The laws are broad enough to cover a number of different types of relationships beyond spouses. Former spouses, blood relatives and in-laws, and even people who live together or were just dating at one time can get protective orders.
As this blog has discussed, these orders legally prohibit perpetrators from doing a number of things, including ongoing contact with his or her victim. The order can also mandate the perpetrator go to counseling or surrender his or her firearms.
Victims can obtain protective orders in a number of ways. They can, for instance, obtain one after prosecutors charge a perpetrator with a crime related to domestic violence or during the course of a divorce.
They can also attempt to file a request for a protective order themselves or by getting clerical help through an advocacy group, but only a licensed Illinois attorney can give legal advice and file a protective order on a client’s behalf.