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Lombard family law attorneyOn June 11, 2016, Americans woke up to a tragic news story: 49 individuals were killed by a gunman in an Orlando nightclub. In the wake of this horrific event, there has been much speculation as to the character of the individual responsible for the deaths. In addition to his possible ties to the terrorist organization ISIS, the gunman has a history of domestic violence against his ex-wife. Reports have been emerging in which she says that her husband was both physically and mentally abusive to her prior to their 2009 divorce. He reportedly beat her out of anger when the household chores were not done and barred her from talking to her friends and family. She also said he withheld her paychecks and refused to allow her money. Scared and alone at the hands of her abuser, the woman’s family helped her escape the toxic marriage. 

What Does Domestic Violence Look Like?

Unfortunately, these circumstances are not unique. Over four million women are physically abused by a spouse or significant other every year. The Huffington Post reports that on average one out of four women are victims of violence at the hands of a partner. Domestic violence can take many forms. In addition to physically hurting a victim, abusers will often:

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

domestic abuse, Lombard family lawyersYou can probably name at least one, if not more than one, male friend or acquaintance that has been the victim of emotional abuse by his spouse or romantic partner. If not, you have been probably witnessed such abuse in a public or social setting: a man and his partner are out together, but the conversation is very one-sided. His girlfriend or wife makes derogatory or snide comments about his clothes, behavior, or choices. As the night goes on, the situation gets worse, with the woman blatantly scolding him, as he endures it silently.

While there is no question that male-against-female abuse is a scourge on today’s society, many have become conditioned to ignore such behavior in reverse. Of course, part of the problem is the militant, often misogynistic, "men’s rights" groups whose awareness efforts can be little more than thinly-veiled attacks on women. However, the reality is that men can most definitely be victims of domestic abuse, including physical violence and mental or emotional attacks.

Unwillingness to Come Forward

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domestic violence, orders of protection, Lombard family law attorneyWhen you or your child is the victim of domestic violence, it is easy to feel alone and completely helpless. You want to escape the situation and get your child to safety, buy you may not know how or where to go. In many such cases, the most important first step is to place a legal barrier between yourself and your abuser by petitioning the court for an emergency order of protection.

How to Get an Emergency Order

The process of requesting an emergency order of protection is quite simple. You may file your petition for an order of protection with the court of the county in which are living or where you are currently located due to safety concerns. Your petition may alternatively be filed in the county where your abuser lives or where the abuse took place. In the event that your circumstances require an emergency order at a time when the appropriate court is closed—such as a weekend or holiday—you may file your petition with any available circuit court judge or associate judge.

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domestic abuse, false allegations, Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyIn far too many American homes, domestic violence is a major concern, wreaking havoc on both the physical and emotional health of the victim. In the face of such actions, healthy relationships are virtually impossible. Justifiably, accusations of domestic abuse are taken very seriously by law enforcement and government agencies. During a divorce or other domestic proceedings, unfortunately, it is possible for one partner to try to take advantage of the system by making false allegations of abuse.

It can difficult for most people to fathom making unfounded accusations of criminal activity against anyone, especially their spouse. For those who do, however, they are often attempting to manipulate the law in their favor, usually related to property division or child custody. Most states’ child custody laws, including Illinois, include clauses that take violent acts or the danger of violence into consideration. The existence of an allegation or an order of protection may be all it takes to keep a parent from significant time with his or her children. While the safety of the children should certainly be paramount, no parent deserves to lose time with his or her children over fraudulent accusations. Accusations with no basis in fact often take the accused completely by surprise. He or she is often left feeling angry, betrayed, and overwhelmed. There are a few things that anyone accused of domestic violence can do, especially if the allegations are false: Stay Away from the Accuser

Being alone with the person who brought the initial allegations all provides further opportunity for new ones. By keeping a safe distance away, or by maintaining the buffer of witnesses, the accused will not be create the risk of additional false charges.

Remain Civil

Despite the stress and emotional difficulty a falsely accused person must be experiencing, it is very important to make every effort at staying calm and civil, particular in any communication with the accuser. Angry outbursts, sharp criticisms, or even sarcastic offhand comments can exponentially worsen the situation. It is also worth remembering that virtually all electronic communication, such as emails, text message, or Facebook posts, can eventually find their way into a courtroom proceeding. Extreme caution is recommended when communicating online with anyone, especially with the accuser.

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domestic violence programThe Chicago Police Department responds to almost 500 domestic violence calls every day. In 2013, approximately 1,500 of those calls involved aggravated domestic battery, where the abuser attacked his or her victim with a gun, knife, or other dangerous weapon.

The City of Chicago recently expanded a pilot domestic violence program that has been in effect since last year. The program takes a more proactive response approach by police, prosecutors and social services agencies and providers.

The program was first introduced to the Chicago Police Department’s 14th Division. The aim of the program is to enable law enforcement to identify households which may be at an elevated risk of domestic violence and serious injuries in order to coordinate a rapid response. An assessment form was developed which asks questions that help determine if a victim is at elevated risk of injury. Patrol officers use these assessment forms when responding to domestic violence calls. If the victim’s answers indicate a serious risk, the department has put protocols in place which activates an immediate investigation.

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