What is classified as Abuse under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act?

What is classified as Abuse under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act?

The IDVA defines abuse, and further defines many of the terms that are used to define abuse. 

Abuse includes:

  • Physical abuse
    • Knowing or reckless use of physical force, confinement or restraint
    • Knowing, repeated and unnecessary sleep deprivation
    • Knowing or reckless conduct which creates an immediate risk of physical harm.
    • Sexual abuse

  • Harassment 
    • Knowing conduct which is
      • Not necessary to accomplish a purpose that is reasonable under the circumstances; 
      • Would cause a reasonable person emotional distress; and 
      • Does cause emotional distress to the petitioner. 
    • Unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, the following types of conduct shall be presumed to cause emotional distress:
      • Creating a disturbance at petitioner's place of employment or school;
      • Repeatedly telephoning petitioner's place of employment, home or residence;
      • Repeatedly following petitioner about in a public place or places;
      • Repeatedly keeping petitioner under surveillance by remaining present outside his or her home, school, place of employment, vehicle or other place occupied by petitioner or by peering in petitioner's windows;
      • Improperly concealing a minor child from petitioner, repeatedly threatening to improperly remove a minor child of petitioner's from the jurisdiction or from the physical care of petitioner, repeatedly threatening to conceal a minor child from petitioner, or making a single such threat following an actual or attempted improper removal or concealment, unless respondent was fleeing an incident or pattern of domestic violence; or
      • Threatening physical force, confinement or restraint on one or more occasions.

  • Intimidation of a dependent 
    • Subjecting a person who is dependent because of age, health or disability to participation in or the witnessing of…
      • …physical force against another or...
      • …physical confinement or restraint of another…
    • …which constitutes physical abuse as defined in this Act...
    • regardless of whether the abused person is a family or household member.
    • Does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent or person in loco parentis.

  • Interference with personal liberty
    • Committing or threatening physical abuse, harassment, intimidation or willful deprivation...
      • ….so as to compel another...
        • ….to engage in conduct from which she or he has a right to abstain or 
        • ….to refrain from conduct in which she or he has a right to engage.

  • Willful deprivation
    • Willfully denying a person who, because of age, health or disability requires
      • medication, 
      • medical care, 
      • shelter, 
      • accessible shelter or services, 
      • food, 
      • therapeutic device, or 
      • other physical assistance, 
    • ...and thereby exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm
    • ...except with regard to medical care or treatment when the dependent person has expressed an intent to forgo such medical care or treatment.

750 ILCS 60/103(1 thru 15) 

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