Individuals who have been victims of domestic violence can seek help through the Court system. This is called an Order of Protection. An order of protection is a court order which restricts an abuser and only is available to family or household members, this includes people with a dating relationship. An order of protection may:
- prohibit the abuser from continuing threats and abuse (abuse includes physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation)
- bar the abuser from a shared residence;
- order the abuser to stay away from the victim and other persons protected by the order and/or bar the abuser from the victim’s work, school, or other specific locations;
- require the abuser to attend counseling;
- prohibit the abuser from hiding the child of the victim from the victim or taking a child out of state;
- require the abuser to appear in court or bring a child to court;
- give the victim temporary physical or legal possession of children;
- specify visitation rights (if and when visitation is awarded);
- bar the abuser from accessing child's records;
- award certain property or bar the abuser from damaging, destroying or selling certain personal property;
- require the abuser to pay support for minor children, require the abuser to pay for losses suffered from the abuse, and/or require the abuser to pay for victim or children's shelter or counseling services;
- require the abuser to turn weapons over to local law enforcement;
To obtain an Order of Protection:
Orders of protection can be applied for Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 305 of the St. Clair County Courthouse, with hearings on those applications in the afternoon of the same day. Personnel from the Violence Prevention Center and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation are present in that courtroom to assist people in filling out the necessary paperwork.
The Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois:
For more than 30 years the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois has been dedicated to providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and their children. The Center provides free, confidential services to St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph Counties in southwestern Illinois.
24 Hour Hotline: 618-235-0892
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation:
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation’s mission is to provide low income and senior residents of central and southern Illinois with high quality civil legal services in order to obtain and maintain their basic human needs. Land of Lincoln’s goals in family law cases are to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and their children, from further abuse; and to achieve safety and/or stability for children in custody determinations.