In 1986, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act set clear definitions and rules when it comes to abuse. This act makes it mandatory for members of law enforcement to protect a victim of abuse. If you are in an abusive marriage and are considering divorce, here are a few things that you need to know.
What is Abuse?
Physical abuse is punching, hitting, choking, pushing, or any other act of violence. Holding you against your will also constitutes physical abuse. One myth about physical abuse is that there is no such thing as sexual abuse inside of marriage. That could not be further from the truth. Being forced to commit any act against your will is abuse and it is illegal.
Harassment is also a form of abuse. Harassment includes showing up at or calling your place of employment to the point of causing an issue, repeatedly calling or texting you, stalking or following you, and making threats of physical violence. Threatening to hurt the children or even take them away from you if you do not comply with their wishes is also harassment.
The person who is being directly abused is not the only victim. If the children are forced to watch acts of abuse, that is considered abuse as well. In some cases, the children are also encouraged to abuse the victim. While domestic violence is not gender specific, it is reported that over 90% of abuse cases involve the husband being the abuser.
If you are being abused, the first step that you need to take is to ensure that you and your children are safe. Call law enforcement when the abuse happens. This can also assist you in your divorce case. If you are seeking a divorce because of domestic violence, an empathetic and skilled Illinois family law attorney can assist you.