Illinois law provides protection for individuals who have been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, stalking, or harassment at the hands of others.  Protection that Illinois offers to victims of abuse and harassment differ based on individual circumstances.  Understanding the difference between the various protective orders available is imperative.

1

Order of Protection

An Order of Protection is a court Order that protects individuals from physical abuse, harassment, intimidation and other threatening behavior. An Order of Protection is ONLY available to an individual whose abuser is a family member, household member, or current or past significant other. An individual who has been the victim of abuse can file for an Emergency Order of Protection against their abuser. Emergency Orders of Protection generally last for a period of two weeks. The abuser does not have to be present in court or even know that you petitioned for an Emergency Order of Protection. If the Judge grants the Emergency Order of Protection, he or she will schedule a second hearing where the Court will determine whether the abuser should continue to be required to stay away from the victim for a period of up to 2 years.
2

Stalking No Contact

A Stalking No Contact Order is used to stop an individual from stalking or harassing another individual. For the purposes of this kind of order, stalking occurs when someone has repeatedly contacted, followed, or communicated with another person and such conduct caused the victim to suffer emotional distress or fear for his or her own safety or the safety of another person. Following another individual, sending unwanted or harassing emails, text messages or phone calls, vandalizing the other individual’s property, showing up at the victim’s home, place of work or school, leaving objects for the other individual, or harming the victim’s pet are all examples of stalking. In order to obtain a Stalking No Contact Order against another individual, the victim must be able to demonstrate to the judge that the individual doing the stalking has committed at least two unwanted acts mentioned above. The two incidences must have caused you to experience emotional distress, fear for your safety or the safety of someone else. If the Judge grants an Emergency Stalking No Contact Order, the Emergency Order generally only lasts for 14 days. The judge will also schedule a second hearing where the judge will determine whether the stalker should continue to be required to stay away from the victim for a continued period of time up to 2 years.
3

Civil No Contact

A remedy for individuals who have been the victim of unwanted sexual contact or abuse by another individual or individuals is a Civil No Contact Order. A person who has been victimized can obtain an Emergency Civil No Contact Petition. If the judge grants the petition, he will enter a temporary Order stating that the abuser is to have no contact with the victim. The Court will then schedule an additional hearing for Plenary Civil no Contact to determine whether the abuser should be required to continue to have no contact with the victim. Like with an Order of Protection and Stalking No Contact Order, a Civil No Contact Orders can last up to 2 years. In order to obtain a Civil No Contact Order, it is not required that the victim and abuser be in a relationship with one another. Individuals that may file for a Civil No Contact Order are people who have personally been the victims of sexual assault or abuse, or any adult individual may file a Petition for Civil No Contact on behalf of a minor or disabled or elderly adult who has been the victim of sexual assault or abuse.
If you have been the victim of abuse or harassment, it is important you know your rights and the remedies available to protect you from continued abuse or harassment at the hands of others. Contact the law office of Allison & Mosby-Scott (309)-662-5084, we are here to help.