During this time when the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is observed across the world, victims are reminded that protection is available. Through the Illinois court system, domestic violence orders may provide temporary protection until further action can be taken. Despite projects focused on creating awareness, statistics show that domestic violence remains prevalent.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says one assault on a spouse or partner occurs every nine seconds in the United States. However, it is estimated that approximately 70 percent of all cases are never reported. Most domestic violence cycles involve the abuser apologizing and promising that it will never happen again. For this reason, many victims recant their stories and decline to file charges. Unfortunately, abusers hardly ever change their habits.

This kind of abuse is not always physical, and emotional abuse can be just as damaging. Threats of violence and control of money and movements often leave victims in circumstances that are difficult to escape. Both women and men can be victims of domestic violence. Sadly, children are often witnesses to adult abuse, and these experiences can adversely affect their physical and emotional development.

Illinois victims in abusive relationships may find comfort in knowing that the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney can be invaluable. A lawyer can assist in obtaining domestic violence orders such as permanent protection orders and temporary restraining orders. Also, if such orders are violated, an attorney can help have them vigorously enforced and also provide continued legal support to victims.

Source: mic.com, “Domestic Violence Statistics That Will Change The Way You Look At Abuse“, Anna Swartz, Dec. 10, 2015