Illinois Family Violence: What constitutes family violence and what are the remedies?

Understanding Family Violence in Illinois

Family violence, a critical issue in Illinois as in other states, is not confined to physical abuse. It encompasses a spectrum of behaviors that one family or household member uses to control or overpower another, including spouses, partners, children, and other relatives. To address family violence effectively, it is vital to understand its various forms and the legal remedies available to victims.

Forms of Family Violence

In Illinois, family violence is broadly defined to include the following:

Illinois law recognizes that family violence can occur between current or former spouses, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, and those with disabilities and their personal assistants.

Legal Remedies for Victims of Family Violence

To protect victims of family violence, Illinois provides several legal remedies:

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, for example, represents an important historical milestone in protecting victims by recognizing domestic violence as a serious crime against the individual and society. The Act provides the legal framework for victims seeking remedies in civil court.


The state of Illinois recognizes the severity of family violence and provides various legal avenues to address it. Understanding the forms of family violence and available remedies is crucial in supporting victims and preventing further harm. Those affected by family violence are encouraged to reach out to local authorities or organizations dedicated to providing assistance and guidance through these challenging situations.