About one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In fact, American women are more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.” This statistic was reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Scary, isn't it? While people know that domestic violence is a serious issue, not many people are completely aware of just how serious of an issue it has become.
According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, any person who “hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken Illinois Domestic Violence Law.” Domestic violence is in fact a crime, and a serious one at that.
When you take a closer look at this law, you may wonder what people count as “family or household members.” The Illinois State Police state that the following are included under that category:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Parents, children, and stepchildren
- Persons who formerly shared the same home
- Persons who dated or were engaged, regardless of gender
- Persons who allegedly have a child in common
- Persons with disabilities and their personal assailants
“Abuse” can take many forms. These forms can include physical abuse (such as pushing, hitting, or forced sex), harassment, making another individual watch abuse, forcing you to do something you don't want to, or even denying a disabled person access to necessary care.
It is important to consider that although most of us imagine domestic violence as a woman being abused by her husband or boyfriend, it can occur in many different forms. It is not confined to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, racial, or age group. It is also not confined to same-sex partnerships.