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What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence?

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneysThe National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) received its five millionth call in May of this year. This statistic shows how prevalent domestic violence can be in relationships. In many cases, the victimized person may fear for his or her safety on a daily basis. However, he or she may also be afraid to leave an abusive spouse or partner. Domestic violence can take many different forms. These can include physical harm, verbal threats or harassment, and more. Sometimes making that first call for help is the most difficult step in the process to escape an abusive situation. It is important to understand what behavior constitutes abuse so you can recognize it and seek legal orders of protection. 

Illinois Domestic Violence Law

Domestic violence is considered a crime in Illinois. Any individual who hits, kicks, chokes, harasses, threatens, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member violates the Illinois Domestic Violence law. Illinois law defines family or household members as:

  • Family members who are related by blood;
  • A married or divorced couple;
  • People who share or previously resided in the same home;
  • People who have a child in common;
  • People who are current or former dating or engaged partners; and
  • People with disabilities and their caretakers.
  • Forms of Domestic Abuse

Although physical abuse is the most recognizable form of domestic violence, it is just one of many forms of it. Domestic violence encompasses:

  • Physical abuse: This involves the use of force against a victim, which causes injury. Examples include punching, kicking, stabbing, shooting, choking, slapping, even forcing someone to use drugs against his or her will.
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual assault and rape, in addition to unwanted touching and other demeaning behaviors such as harassment can constitute sexual abuse.
  • Emotional abuse: Destroying a person’s self-worth by insults, humiliation, or criticism is considered emotional abuse. This type of abuse can be difficult for people to recognize and understand since it is not always visible or readily apparent.
  • Psychological abuse: Persistent and significant intimidation, threats, or any behavior that causes fear is classified as psychological abuse. One instance typically is not be enough to for a domestic violence charge.
  • Financial abuse: Withholding money for food, clothing, and essentials is financial abuse. This usually happens if one party does not work and relies on the other partner’s income for living expenses. It can also include one partner preventing the other from obtaining a degree or a job outside the home. If a child is involved, this form of abuse can coincide with neglect.

Orders of Protection

An order of protection is a court order that protects its holder (petitioner) from harm by the individual named in the order (respondent). The most common type of protective order restricts the abuser from contact with the victim. This can prohibit any form of contact, whether it be in person or via electronic communication. If the respondent violates this order, he or she can face steep fines and possible jail time.  

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

Domestic violence takes many different forms, such as physical and emotional abuse. Your safety should be your first priority when considering leaving a toxic relationship. If you are dealing with any form of domestic abuse, you need an experienced lawyer on your side who can help you obtain an order of protection. The skilled legal team at the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C. has more than 50 years of combined experience in handling many domestic violence cases with positive outcomes for their clients. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our compassionate Geneva domestic violence lawyers, call our office today at 630-200-4882.





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