Protect Yourself Against Domestic/Dating Violence
Southwestern Illinois College does not condone and will not tolerate dating violence, domestic violence and stalking and is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from these of offenses.
What is Domestic Violence?
Asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
What is Dating Violence?
Violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
What is Stalking?
Course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his, her, or others' safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
Are You Being Abused?
Does the person you love ...
- Put you down, call you names, constantly criticize you?
- Threaten to hurt you, the children, or another family member?
- Say it's your fault if he or she hits you then promises it won't happen again (but it does)?
- Put you down in public or keep you from contacting friends or family?
- Throw you down, push, hit, strangle, kick or slap you?
- Force you to have sex when you don't want to?
Just one "yes" answer means you're involved in an abusive relationship. You are not alone and you have choices. No one deserves to be abused.
Staying Safe When Preparing to Leave
- Open a savings account and/or a credit card in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence. Get your own post office box. You can privately receive checks and letters to begin your independence.
- Be sure to bring money, keys, medicines, birth certificates, Social Security cards, children's vaccination records, as long as you can leave quickly and safely.
- Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.
- Keep the shelter or hotline phone number close at hand and keep a good deal of change on you at all times for emergency phone calls.
- Identify neighbors you can tell about the violence and ask if they can hear a fight at your home.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need them to call the police.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act
Illinois recognizes domestic violence as a serious crime. Any person who hits, strangles, kicks, threatens, harasses, etc., or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member, someone their dating, or anyone to whom these relationships has ever applied, has broken the law.
Victims of Domestic Violence Have the Right To
- Be protected from further abuse
- Press criminal charges against the abuser (Note: Jail is not the only outcome if the abuser is found guilty)
- File for an order of protection on their own behalf and/or on the behalf of a minor child or incapacitated adult.
An Order of Protection Can
- Prohibit further abuse.
- Bar the abuser temporarily from the home.
- Award temporary custody or determine visitation of minor children.
- Prohibit destruction of victim's property.
- Prohibit the abuser from the victim's place of employment.
- Offer other relief as appropriate.
- Require offender to undergo counseling.
- Order the abuser to pay support, medical costs and legal expenses.
Orders of protection can be obtained without cost. The Violence Prevention Center offers education and court advocacy for obtaining orders of protection. All services are free.
The Stalking Law of Illinois
- Persons in Illinois are now afforded more protection from stalking.
- Under the law, stalking is defined as transmitting a threat to another person, by mail, over the telephone, or through a third person on two separate occasions.
- Persons convicted of stalking may be sentenced to prison.
- If you or someone you know is being stalked, document the stalking as well as possible. Save all written correspondence, tape recorded messages, and ask friends and family who may have been present during the making of the threat to serve as witnesses.
24-Hour Help for Victims of Domestic Violence
DCF5 Hotline: 1-800-252-2873
Emergency Domestic Shelter for abused women and their dependent children.
Individual Counseling & Support Groups.
Advocacy to Court, Schools, Welfare & Social Service Agencies.
All Services Are Free Of Charge
618-235-0892 - Belleville
618-875-7970 - East. St. Louis
618-939-8114 - Monroe County
618-826-5959 - Randolph County
800-924-0096 Toll Free