The recent news coverage and controversy regarding Ray Rice has thrust domestic violence and intimate partner violence into the spotlight. The dialogue about domestic abuse and violence has been incited, and the media has watched as a riveting debate has been put into play about the way our society deals with domestic violence. In fact, the initial sentencing of Ray Rice is seen by many as a reflection of society’s attitude toward domestic violence: if you do not see it, it is not there or it is not as bad as you think.
Who is Affected by Domestic Violence?
The increased dialogue, however, has motivated lawmakers to begin to crack down on abusers and provide support to survivors of intimate partner violence. First and foremost, it is important to understand the picture of survivors of domestic violence. In a study done by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 85 percent of survivors were women; this is approximately 1.3 million women nationwide annually. This number, however, is a conservative estimate as many survivors of domestic violence do not come forward and report their spouse.
In an article published in Time, the studies pointed to a showing that African-American women were more likely to be survivors of domestic violence than their white counterparts. Black women, as reported, were three times more likely to be killed during a domestic violent incident than white women, and domestic violence was found to be the leading cause of death in black women between the ages of 15 and 35. The reasoning behind these disparate statistics is due in large part to racism, which affects African Americans’ access to jobs and financially stability.
Board of Immigration Appeals Permits “Domestic Violence” as Grounds for Asylum
In the last week, as reported by the The New York Times, immigrant survivors of domestic violence helped change the conversation with an important new ruling: the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest immigration court in the United States, made “domestic violence” an eligible ground for asylum in the U.S. This ruling permits a woman who is an illegal immigrant living in the U.S. to remain if she can show that there is a serious risk of abuse, serious injury, or death by her domestic partner if she is forced to return to her country of origin. Finally the dialogue of domestic violence is being discussed, especially by the courts, in terms of a type of persecution rather than a personal issue that must be hidden behind the walls of the home.
Types of Protection in Illinois
In Illinois, there are different ways in which a spouse may protect herself from her abuser.
For short term relief:
Emergency Order: A protective order that can be approved by a judge based solely on your testimony. It can be granted without giving notice to your abuser, and will last between 14 and 21 days until a full hearing is ordered; and
Interim Order: Lasts up to 30 days and does not require a court hearing; however, the abuser is required to have made an appearance in court and receive notification of the court hearing for the interim order.
For long-term relief:
Plenary Order of Protection: May last for up to two years (and can be renewed continually and limitlessly) but the order is only issued after there has been a full court hearing and all evidence brought by you and your abuser has been reviewed.
Advocates on Behalf of Survivors of Domestic Violence
Survivors of domestic violence have a voice and an advocate with Mevorah Law Offices LLC. If you or a loved one is living in a domestic abusive relationship and are looking for help to leave the violent partnership, please contact one of our DuPage County family law attorneys who will provide you with the support and guidance in peacefully terminating a violent relationship.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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