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Wheaton, IL emergency order of protection lawyerStalking occurs when someone repeatedly follows, harasses, or threatens a person to an extent that the person fears for his or her safety. If you have been a victim of stalking, you know just how frightening the experience can be. Fortunately, there are laws that protect victims of stalking. In Illinois, what are often referred to as “restraining orders” are called “orders of protection.” There is also a specific court order designed to stop stalking behaviors called a “Stalking No Contact Order.” Read on to learn about the various court orders that can prevent a stalker from further harassing you.

Protecting Yourself from a Stalker With an Emergency Order of Protection

Two main types of court orders may be available to victims of stalking. The first is an Emergency Order of Protection. This is a court order used to protect victims of abusive family or household members. Abuse does not only include physical violence. It also includes harassment, interference with personal liberty, and intimidation. Per Illinois law, stalking behaviors typically count as abuse. Household and family members include current or former:

  • Spouses

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DuPage County emergency order of protection lawyerThere is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives. School children attend classes remotely, businesses are shut down or forced to operate via video conferencing, and many people are unable to visit relatives in hospitals and nursing homes. One way in which the coronavirus may also be impacting Americans is through an increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, many victims have stayed silent about the mistreatment they have suffered because they are ashamed, they fear retaliation, or they do not know the legal options that are available to them. If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, read on to learn about the legal protections available to you in Illinois.

Quarantine May Make it Harder for Victims to Get Help

Physical, emotional, mental, sexual, and financial abuse often takes place behind closed doors. Abusers frequently use control and manipulation to prevent their victims from leaving or reporting the abuse. When victims and abusers are quarantined in the same home together, the abuse and control may escalate. TIME Magazine reports that police departments are seeing increases in domestic violence cases across the country. In one hospital, wounds that were related to domestic violence from March 11 to May 3 of 2020 exceeded the number of domestic violence wounds from the same time period in the previous two years combined.

Getting Legal Protection Through an Order of Protection

If you or a loved one have suffered physical abuse, harassment, threats, or other forms of domestic violence, you should know that Illinois has laws in place to protect you. You can get an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) without your abuser’s knowledge. An EOP is available based on your testimony alone. The EOP may require the abuser to move out of your shared home, surrender his or her firearms, stay away from you and your children, stop contacting you, and more. If he or she violates the protection order, he or she may immediately be arrested and face criminal charges.

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Wheaton order of protection attorney divorceIf you have been the victim of abuse by your spouse, you may be considering divorce. However, your primary concern is likely ensuring that you and your children are safe. To protect yourself from your abuser, you can ask a judge for an order of protection. This will not only require the abuser to stop abusive activities, but it may also ensure that they stay away from you and your children, refrain from contacting you in any way, and require them to attend counseling and pay child support. This can provide you with much-needed protection in the steps leading up to divorce as you begin to put permanent solutions in place.  

There are three types of orders of protection in Illinois:

Emergency Order of Protection

This type of order can be used to obtain immediate protection from an abuser. It will go into effect as soon as it is approved by a judge approves, and the alleged abuser (known as the respondent) will be notified and required to follow the terms of the order. The respondent does not need to be present at the hearing where an emergency order is granted. An order will typically last from 14 to 21 days or until a hearing can be held to determine whether further protection is necessary.

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Wheaton orders of protection attorneysEvery single year, more than 10 million Americans face some form of domestic abuse from an intimate partner. For women, domestic abuse from a spouse or partner is incredibly common. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 1 in 3 American women face some form of physical violence (slapping, punching, pushing, or life-threatening violence) from their intimate partner during their lifetimes. If you are being abused by your spouse, it is important to contact law enforcement officials and seek a way out of the relationship. Fortunately, a quality legal team can help you develop orders of protection and expedite the divorce process.

The Importance of Leaving the Relationship

In cases of domestic violence, many victims let their feelings for the abuser (or fear over the risk of an abuser's retaliation) be the reason they stay. In all reality, outside of increased chances of potentially fatal injuries, repeated domestic violence can only come with harmful ramifications.

Repeat domestic abuse victims are more likely to face post-traumatic stress, increased anxiety, and a lack of self-confidence. Additionally, children involved in households in which domestic violence is present are more likely to be physically harmed themselves. According to the NCADV, 1 in 15 American children witness domestic abuse at home. What is more, these children may suffer maladjustment issues because of the abuse they have either witnessed or experienced, and that can have life-lasting ramifications. 

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