|The Domestic Violence Unit prosecutes defendants accused of causing physical harm to a person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship.|
|What is a domestic relationship?
What is domestic violence?
- A relationship with a family or household member, such as a husband or wife, a former husband or former wife, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by current or previous marriage
- A person you live with or used to live with
- A person you had a child with or believe you had a child with
- A person you share or believe you share a blood relationship with because of a child
- A person you are dating or used to date
- A person with disabilities and their personal assistants and caregivers
Generally, domestic violence begins with non-violent behaviors as the abused partner seeks to pull away from the relationship or assert independence. Once the abuse becomes physical, it can become violent, starting with a slap or a shove and escalating to severe beatings or injuries from weapons, and occasionally death.
- Emotional abuse (insults, name-calling, humiliation, mind games, treating a partner like a servant)
- Isolation (limiting a partner’s activities outside the relationship, controlling who the partner sees or speaks to and where he or she goes)
- Financial abuse (preventing a partner from getting a job or controlling the money)
- Threats and intimidation (making a partner feel as though he or she might be physically harmed, including displaying weapons, damaging property or hurting pets)
- Physical violence, including forced sexual relations.
The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence has created a diagram that effectively defines the types of domestic violence. Click here to view it.
|The cycle of violence|
The cycle of violence begins with tension that culminates in violence. Often, immediately after the violent episode, the abuser is remorseful and promises that no further violence will occur. The victim often is quick to forgive. However, without help or intervention more violence often will follow, increasing the risk to the victim.
|If I’m a victim or if someone I know is a victim, what should I do?|
You have many options:
- If the abuse is physical or sexual, call 9-1-1
- Go to your local police station
- If you are afraid to contact the police, you should contact one of the two domestic abuse shelters in Kane County
- Community Crisis Center of Elgin - (847) 697-2380 (24-hour hotline)
- Mutual Ground of Aurora - (630) 897-0080 (24-hour hotline) or 630-897-8383
|What happens next?|
- If criminal charges are filed, authorities will make sure you know what to do next, including help you protect yourself from the abuser. They might recommend that you ask a judge for an Order of Protection, and if they do, they will help you get it.
- If criminal charges are not filed, you still can take steps to protect yourself, to keep the abuser away from you and to stop harassment. It can be done with a Civil Order of Protection.
|What is an order of protection?|
An order of protection is a court-ordered document that grants the victim certain legal shelter, helps protect the victim’s property and limits the contact the abuser can have with the victim.
An order of protection generally orders the offender:
- To not harass, abuse, stalk or interfere with the protected person
- To avoid in-person contact with the protected person
- To stay away from the protected person’s residence, place of employment or school
- To not have any contact with the protected person through the mail, telephone, e-mail, or a third person
- Also, a court can order that the protected person be granted exclusive possession of a house or apartment that was shared with the offender
However, an order of protection is nothing more than a court order. If you were granted an order of protection because you believe you might be in danger of physical harm, if it is important that you remain cautious.How do I get an order of protection?
- If criminal charges were filed against the suspect, a judge can grant the order. Contact the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office for assistance, (630) 232-3500.
- If criminal charges were not filed, you can contact a private attorney for help, or you can contact Prairie State Legal Services at (630) 232-9415.
- You also can contact one of the two domestic violence shelters in Kane County:
- If you choose to get an order of protection, you must appear in court at:
- The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office at the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 Route 38, St. Charles (about a mile west of the intersection of Randall Road and Route 38. Go to Suite 300 on the third floor and ask to speak with someone in the Domestic Violence Unit. (630) 232-3500. Se habla Español.
- The Kane County State’s Attor¬ney’s Office at Aurora Branch Court at the Aurora Police Department, 1200 E. Indian Trail Road. (630) 892-3221. Se habla Español.
- The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office at Elgin Branch Court, 150 Dexter Court, (across from the Elgin Police Department), from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. (847) 931-6030. Se habla Español.
|Facts about domestic violence|
- Domestic violence happens in all communities, and crosses all social and cultural borders
- Domestic violence is more common than most people believe, and statistics show that it probably exists in your community
- Statistics show that 95 percent of domestic violence victims are women and that domestic violence occurs in 28 percent of marriages
- Every nine seconds someone in the U.S. is abused by a partner. Three victims a day are murdered. Further, researchers believe this estimate is low because most incidents of abuse are not reported.
- Women who leave their abusers are at a 75 percent greater risk of being killed by the abuser than those who stay
- Fifty percent of homeless women and children are on the streets because of violence in the home
- Children from violent homes have higher risks of alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and gang violence
- Medical care for battered women costs approximately $1.8 billion per year in the United States
- Victims lose their jobs because they cannot go to work, are late for work and are harassed in the workplace. More than 175,000 work days are missed each year in the United States because of domestic violence.