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Illinois Enacts New Domestic Violence Laws

Illinois governor Pat Quinn has just signed a series of four bills strengthening the state’s domestic violence policies. In a statement, the governor emphasized the right of every Illinois resident to feel safe on the streets and in the home. Two of the new laws were effective immediately, and two are to become effective on the first of January 2014.

High rate of recidivism

The first law toughens the penalties for repeat offenders. The new guidelines make a second domestic violence offense a felony, with a fourth offense carrying a potential sentence of up to 14 years in prison. According to a 2000 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 41 percent of male participants in court-ordered rehabilitative programs re-assaulted their partners within 30 days of the first reported offense, and two-thirds repeated the offense within six months. Also, 20 percent repeatedly assaulted their partners and were arrested during the course of the program.

Greater protection for victims

A second law increases the safety of victims who are covered by an abuser’s insurance company. In the past, victims who were covered under a partner’s insurance policy and sought treatment for their injuries could be tracked down through the insurance company’s report. According to the new law, victims who relocate to escape an abusive partner and file claims with the health insurance policy held by the partner are protected from revealing their location. The insurance company can now withhold any information regarding the victim’s health, treatment, phone number, address, or any other fact that might compromise safety.

A third law charges the school board with creating programs to reduce violence among teenagers, and the fourth extends the deadline for the creation of statewide domestic violence prevention programs.

Illinois is standing up to domestic violence, and family law attorneys do so as well. If you and your family need protection from an abusive parent or partner, speak with us today.

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Paul Chatzky
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About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
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About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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