In the last decade, government’s response to this societal problem has increased, both in effort and in effectiveness. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 ushered in a new era for our state. Recent Supreme Court rulings have put more "teeth" into the law by effectively mandating that law enforcement act to protect victims of domestic abuse.
According to Illinois law, police officers must take steps to protect a victim of domestic abuse whenever a "family or household member" has committed any act of "abuse." Nothing in the Domestic Violence Act mandates an officer to arrest the offender.
"Family or Household Member" Includes
parents, children and stepchildren
persons who allegedly have a child in common
persons who dated or were engaged, regardless of gender
persons who formerly shared the same home
persons with disabilities and their personal assistants
spouses and former spouses
denying a disabled person access to needed care
forcing you to do something you don’t want to do
harassment (creating a disturbance at your job, repeatedly telephoning, following or watching you, preventing you from seeing your child, threatening to hurt you)
making a child or other person watch abuse
physical abuse (pushing, hitting, forced sex, not allowing you to leave)