Order of Protection & Abuse

Order of Protection & Abuse

Chicago, IL Order of Protection & Abuse

“Domestic Violence Orders” are commonly referred to as “Orders of protection” and are entered pursuant to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. An order of protection can prohibit a person from harassment, physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, or interference with personal liberty, and also provide for a “stay away” order. Other relief can be granted, including temporary possession or custody of children, exclusive possession of the home, financial support, and even may require a party to obtain counseling.

An order of protection may provide that a spouse and/or children or other family members are included as “protected persons.” Orders of protection can be granted on an emergency ex parte (without notice) basis (on the same day under the right circumstances), or with notice. If an order is entered on an emergency ex parte basis, it must be returnable for hearing within 21 days and served upon the other party. At the hearing the order can be extended for any period up to two years, or it can be denied.

Once granted, an order of protection is to be registered with law enforcement on the LEADS system and served on the respondent. Under the law, law enforcement must respond to calls for the enforcement or violation of an order of protection. Law enforcement agencies are the “front line” in domestic violence and the law credits law enforcement and acknowledges that law enforcement personnel are sometimes the secondary victims of domestic violence. A violation of an order of protection can result in a criminal charge against the respondent.

Purpose of the Illinois Violence Act

The purpose of the Illinois Violence Act is to:

  • Recognize domestic violence as a serious crime against the individual and society which produces family disharmony in thousands of Illinois families, promotes a pattern of escalating violence which frequently culminates in intra-family homicide, and creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to healthy childhood development;
  • Recognize domestic violence against high risk adults with disabilities, who are particularly vulnerable due to impairments in ability to seek or obtain protection, as a serious problem which takes on many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and facilitate accessibility of remedies under the Act in order to provide immediate and effective assistance and protection;
  • Recognize that the legal system has ineffectively dealt with family violence in the past, allowing abusers to escape effective prosecution or financial liability, and has not adequately acknowledged the criminal nature of domestic violence; that, although many laws have changed, in practice there is still widespread failure to appropriately protect and assist victims;
  • Support the efforts of victims of domestic violence to avoid further abuse by promptly entering and diligently enforcing court orders which prohibit abuse and, when necessary, reduce the abuser’s access to the victim and address any related issues of child custody and economic support so that victims are not trapped in abusive situations by fear of retaliation, loss of a child, financial dependence, or loss of accessible housing or services;
  • Clarify the responsibilities and support the efforts of law enforcement officers to provide immediate, effective assistance and protection for victims of domestic violence, recognizing that law enforcement officers often become the secondary victims of domestic violence, as evidenced by the high rates of police injuries and deaths that occur in response to domestic violence calls; and
  • Expand the civil and criminal remedies for victims of domestic violence; including, when necessary, the remedies which affect physical separation of the parties to prevent further abuse.


Whether you are going through a divorce, child custody case, or other family law related matter, it is vital for you to have an experienced attorney on your side.

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