Domestic Violence Information

In the last decade, government’s response to this societal problem has increased, both in effort and in effectiveness. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 ushered in a new era for our state. Recent Supreme Court rulings have put more "teeth" into the law by effectively mandating that law enforcement act to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Domestic Violence Resources

Identifying 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." Nothing in the Domestic Violence Act mandates an officer to arrest the offender.

"Family or Household Member" Includes

  • parents, children and stepchildren
  • persons who allegedly have a child in common
  • persons who dated or were engaged, regardless of gender
  • persons who formerly shared the same home
  • persons with disabilities and their personal assistants
  • spouses and former spouses

"Abuse" Includes

  • denying a disabled person access to needed care
  • forcing you to do something you don’t want to do
  • harassment (creating a disturbance at your job, repeatedly telephoning, following or watching you, preventing you from seeing your child, threatening to hurt you)
  • making a child or other person watch abuse
  • physical abuse (pushing, hitting, forced sex, not allowing you to leave)

For more information on domestic abuse, visit the Domestic Violence Resources page.