While the State of Illinois is under a mandatory “stay-at-home” Order due to COVID-19, or the coronavirus, the risk of experiencing abuse increases exponentially for victims of domestic violence. Without the buffer of going to school, work, or any social activities, victims are literally trapped at home, 24/7, with their abusers. Moreover, domestic violence does not discriminate; it occurs in every race, religion, socioeconomic, gender, sexual orientation, and age group.
In Illinois, abuse is defined as “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.” 750 ILCS 60/103. Abuse manifests in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: physical violence, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, isolation from friends and family, and financial control. Unfortunately, right now, the “social distancing” that is necessary for public health is exacerbating the threat of abuse to victims of domestic violence. The anxiety of a global pandemic, combined with financial worries and the pressure of being cooped up inside the house, can cause tempers to flare.
However, domestic violence is never acceptable. There are many resources available to help victims of domestic violence. If your life is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. However, a legal option is to obtain an Order of Protection, which may offer temporary or longer-term protections, which are enforceable by law.
If you feel that your safety or the safety of your children is in jeopardy, the attorneys at Hoffenberg & Block, LLC are here to help you. Please call us at (312) 853-8000 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can work with you to develop a safety plan and determine the next steps in breaking the cycle of abuse.