Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence occurs when one person causes physical or psychological harm to a current or former partner or family member. An individual controls his or her intimate partner using fear, isolation, financial control, and emotional abuse. Domestic Violence is a crime.

Types of Domestic Violence

Emotional Abuse (name-calling, mind games, humiliation, sub-servant treatment of partner)Financial Abuse (Controlling the money and not allowing the partner to get a job)Isolation (controlling who the partner sees or speaks to, limiting the amount the partner can leave the house)Threats and Intimidation (causes the partner to feel like he or she may be harmed, with threats, displaying weapons, hurting animals)Physical Violence/ forced sexual relations

What constitutes a domestic relationship?

A relationship with a family or household member, including a spouse, former spouse, parents, children, stepchildren, other blood relations, or relatives through a current or previous marriage
A person that you live with or have lived with
A person that you have or allegedly have a child with
A person you share or believe you share a blood relationship with through a child
A person you are dating or have dated
A person with disabilities and their assistants and caregivers

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call your local police department.

Law Enforcement Response

Law enforcement officers are to use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including:
Arranging for or transporting victims to a medical facility/shelter/place of safety and/or accompanying them back to the residence to get belongings
Arresting the abuser where appropriate and completing a police report on all bonafide incidents
Advising the victim or his or her rights to an order of protection and the importance of preserving evidence, such as damaged clothing and property, along with photographs of injuries

If an Abuser Contacts You After an Arrest

 If the abuser was charged with a (Illinois Domestic Violence Act) crime and the victim is a family or household member, the abuser will be prohibited from contacting or communicating with victim and from entering or remaining at the victim's residence for at least 72 hours. If an abuser violates these conditions, call the police as soon as possible. The abuser can be charged with another crime.

Order of Protection

 An order of protection is a court order that grants restricts someone who has abused a family or household member. The order of protection grants the victim certain legal rights and helps protect their property and limits the contact the abuser may have with the victim.

An order of protection generally orders the offender: 

To not harass, stalk or abuse the protected parties
To avoid in-person contact with the victim
To stay away from the protected parties' residence, place of employment, and school
To not have any contact with the victim via mail, telephone, email, texting or third party
May require them to attend counseling
May give you temporary custody of the children, or put a visitation schedule in place

To Obtain an Order of Protection, You Can: 

Contact a domestic violence program for help completing the forms.
Ask your attorney to file in civil court.
Request an order with your divorce.
Request an order during a criminal prosecution.
Go to your local circuit court clerk's office and get papers to seek an order of protection for yourself.

Domestic Violence Shelter

Mutual Ground of Aurora
24 hour Domestic Violence hotline
24 hour Sexual Assault hotline
Domestic Violence Shelter website


National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 

Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line
1-877-863-6338 (Chicago area)
1-877-863-6339 (TTY) 

Legal Help

Kendall County State's Attorney


Kane County State's Attorney Office

Prairie State Legal Services