In this article, we will discuss what constitutes “abuse” for the purposes of Illinois Orders of Protection. Orders of Protection are court orders intended to protect the petitioner or some other protected party from future abuse by family or household members. For some foundational knowledge about Orders of Protection, check out our article, Illinois Orders of Protection Explained.
Unless the petitioner for an Order of Protection is filing on behalf of a neglected high-risk adult, the petitioner must demonstrate that either the petitioner or the minor on behalf of whom the petitioner is filing has been “abused” by the respondent. “Abuse” is defined by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act as:
We will discuss the specific behaviors included in each of these terms below.
For the purposes of Illinois Orders of Protection, “physical abuse” includes:
The definition of “harassment” for Illinois Orders of Protection is set forth by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act as behavior that meets all of the following criteria:
Certain types of conduct are presumed to cause emotional distress:
Other types of behaviors that have been found to be harassment include:
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act defines “Interference with personal liberty” as “committing or threatening physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or willful deprivation so as to compel another to engage in conduct from which she or he has a right to abstain or refrain from conduct in which she or he has the right to engage.”
Some examples of interference with personal liberty are isolating the petitioner from family and friends, restraining the petitioner through physical or manipulative means, and controlling the petitioner’s movements by monitoring them.
“Intimidation of a dependent” occurs when the respondent subjects an individual who is dependent because of age, health or disability to participation in or witnessing of physical force against another or physical confinement or restraint of another which constitutes “physical abuse” as defined above. It does not matter whether the person being abused is a family member or household member of the petitioner or respondent.
“Willful Deprivation” occurs when a protected party requires medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physical assistance due to age health or disability and the respondent willfully denies the protected party of such necessities, exposing the protected party to harm. The harm can be physical, mental or emotional. Willful deprivation does not occur when the protected party has expressed an intent to forego the necessity of which he or she is being deprived.
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