• Here’s what you need to know about domestic violence lawsuits

    Unfortunately, most of us know someone that’s been affected by domestic violence. Additionally, we hear the term bandied about in the media today, and many of us never take the time to think about the term, what it means and what it may mean for ourselves. However, due to the nature of this term and its prevalence as a societal problem, it would do us all some good to brush up on the answers to some of the most commonly asked domestic violence questions.

    What is domestic violence?

    This is an all-encompassing term that implies patterned behavior that can be described as controlling or coercive, usually including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse. An abuser will leverage anything they can to control the victim, even finances.

    What can I do as a victim?

    If you’re a victim that wants help, all you have to do is go looking for it. There are anonymous hotlines, lawyers that work with domestic violence victims and other resources at your disposal, even the police. You first have to make the choice that you want out of an abusive relationship and then find the resources you need to accomplish that.

    What if I have a friend who is a victim?

    Care for and encourage that person. It can be painful watching a friend in an abusive relationship that they don’t have the courage to leave. However, as a bystander, you have few options unless you see physical abuse taking place. By being too hard on them, you could alienate them. Let them know that they’re accepted and that they have a place to stay anytime they need to.

    When should I call a lawyer?

    Call a lawyer when you feel a threat to your life or health. A lawyer can help you file an order of protection that can keep you safe from the abuser until your situation can be sorted out. A lawyer can also help you recover damages for the abuse and other financial problems that may be associated with these situations.

    Can men be victims of domestic violence?

    Yes! While it’s not nearly as common, anyone can be the victim of domestic violence.

    Is domestic violence grounds for divorce?

    In the State of Illinois, you don’t actually need grounds for a divorce. However, the answer is yes. Domestic violence can be used as grounds for a divorce.