Has COVID-19 Led to an Increase in Domestic Violence Cases?
After a trying year due to COVID-19, many people are looking forward to 2021 with a vaccine being distributed throughout the country. However, there is growing concern that there could be a pandemic within the pandemic. Reports of domestic abuse have increased during the months of 2020. With much of the country’s workforce laid off or working remotely from home, and the uncertainty of the virus, tensions in many households have run high. Although stay-at-home orders issued at the start of the health crisis were intended to protect the public and prevent widespread infection, they left many victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) trapped with their abusers. However, they do have options for protecting themselves and their children.
Illinois Orders of Protection
Those who are subjected to abuse or harassment can take legal action against their abusers. Orders of protection, also known as restraining orders, are typically sought by domestic violence victims. Under Illinois law, emergency orders can be obtained immediately and may last up to 21 days. Plenary orders can last up to two years but may be extended in certain situations. If someone fears for their safety or that of their children, then it is critical to seek help and take steps to get out of the dangerous situation.
Protective orders are issued by the court and usually require a designated person to stay a certain distance away from the individual who obtained the order. In addition, protective orders can affect temporary rulings on such issues as child custody and property rights. They are intended to prohibit further abuse, neglect, or exploitation. A restraining order may also exclude the abuser from the victim’s residence or place of work. In some cases, he or she may be ordered to attend anger management counseling, and the abusive person is typically not allowed to possess a firearm.
A violation of a protective order can result in criminal charges, such as a Class A misdemeanor. When a violation involves a minor, it can be charged as a Class 4 felony. For willful violation, a person may face contempt of court, which can carry jail time, restitution, fines, attorney's fees, or community service.
Contact a Kane County Domestic Violence Lawyer
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life in the past year. If you or someone you know has concerns about an abusive spouse or partner, be sure to consult with a knowledgeable Geneva, IL domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, we understand the different challenges people have faced. Attorney Warlick has 40 years of legal experience both in and out of the courtroom, and he has successfully resolved all types of family law matters, including orders of protection related to domestic abuse. To learn more, call us today at 630-232-9700 to schedule a confidential consultation.