Domestic Violence

When domestic violence is present in a relationship, the relationship needs to end. Domestic violence can leave a victim physically injured, emotionally and psychologically broken and in some cases, dead. Not all domestic violence is physical. Psychological, sexual, and financial abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse.

If you face domestic violence or you fear you could be in danger of facing it, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit its website to access resources like support and information about local domestic violence shelters.

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence comes in many forms. It is not uncommon for two or more types of domestic violence to be present in a relationship. Types of domestic violence include:

  • Physical abuse. Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, and shoving the victim as well as harming him or her by denying him or her access to food, water, or medical care. Forcing a victim to use drugs against his or her will is also a form of physical abuse;
  • Psychological abuse. This is the use of manipulation and other psychological tactics to break down a victim’s sense of self-worth and make him or her doubt his or her own perception of the situation;
  • Emotional abuse. Like psychological abuse, emotional abuse whittles away the victim’s sense of self-worth. With emotional abuse, though, the abuser makes affection conditional, rather than attacking the victim’s sense of his or her competence;
  • Sexual abuse. Any sexual contact without the victim’s consent is sexual abuse. In addition to sexual contact with the abuser, sexual abuse can include forcing the victim to pose nude or be featured in pornographic images and videos; and
  • Financial abuse. Using access to money to control a victim is financial abuse. This can mean prohibiting the victim from working or keeping all of the household funds from him or her.

Getting an Order of Protection

When you fear for your safety, you can protect yourself from your former spouse or partner with an order of protection (OOP). This type of order is often known as a restraining order.

You can obtain an OOP from a judge. If you feel you are in immediate danger, you may be able to obtain an emergency order of protection with nothing more than your testimony about your fear and why you are afraid. For long-term protection, you can obtain an interim order of protection or a plenary order of protection. To obtain one of these orders, you must attend a hearing and obtain a court ruling. If you have children, the court will consider your partner’s history of domestic violence when determining an appropriate parenting plan for them. Your lawyer can help you use your order of protection as evidence to support your claim about your former partner’s actions.

Consult with a Chicago Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are in an abusive relationship, get out. Your safety should be your top priority. Once you have exited the relationship, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer to discuss your rights, your legal options, and how to begin the divorce process, if you are married. I care about you, and as your lawyer, I can be your advocate as you leave a toxic relationship. Contact The Law Office of Gina L. Colaluca, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with my office.