If you are the victim of abuse, violent or stalking behavior, Illinois law provides two statutes to protect from such behavior: the Domestic Violence Act of 1986 and the Stalking No Contact Order Act. The first requires that the parties have a current, past family, or dating relationship. The second requires only that the behavior occurred absent such a family or dating relationship. These orders are police enforced and it is a crime to violate an order. It is also inappropriate to utilize the Domestic Violence Act in order to gain the upper hand in a custody/visitation (parental rights and responsibilities) case.
Order of Protection
Persons protected by the Domestic Violence Act.
(a) The following persons are protected by this Act:
(i) any person abused by a family or household member;
(ii) any high-risk adult with disabilities who is abused, neglected, or exploited by a family or household member;
(iii) any minor child or dependent adult in the care of such person; and
(iv) any person residing or employed at a private home or public shelter which is housing an abused family or household member.
(b) A petition for an order of protection may be filed only: (i) by a person who has been abused by a family or household member or by any person on behalf of a minor child or an adult who has been abused by a family or household member and who, because of age, health, disability, or inaccessibility, cannot file the petition, or (ii) by any person on behalf of a high-risk adult with disabilities who has been abused, neglected, or exploited by a family or household member. However, any petition properly filed under this Act may seek protection for any additional persons protected by this Act.
Stalking No-Contact Order
The purpose of the Stalking No-Contact Orders is to protect those who have been the victims of abuse, violent or stalking behavior and have not been involved with the alleged perpetrator in a familial or dating relationship. Stalking generally refers to a course of conduct, not a single act. Stalking behavior includes following a person, conducting surveillance of the person, appearing at the person's home, work or school, making unwanted phone calls, sending unwanted emails or text messages, leaving objects for the person, vandalizing the person's property, or injuring a pet. Stalking is a serious crime. Victims experience fear for their safety, fear for the safety of others and suffer emotional distress. Many victims alter their daily routines to avoid the persons who are stalking them. Some victims are in such fear that they relocate to another city, town or state. While estimates suggest that 70% of victims know the individuals stalking them, only 30% of victims have dated or been in intimate relationships with their stalkers. All stalking victims should be able to seek a civil remedy requiring the offenders stay away from the victims and third parties.