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Divorce and Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

 Posted on December 06, 2022 in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles, IL divorce attorneyOn January 1, 2023, the SAFE-T Act (Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act) will go into effect. The Act addresses a number of criminal justice reform issues, including the elimination of cash bail. According to the new law, judges will determine whether defendants charged with a specific set of violent misdemeanors and specific felonies pose a flight risk, pose a risk to another person, or pose a risk to the public or if they can be released. The changes mean that a judge has the discretion to release a defendant who is charged with domestic violence or other violent crime without the requirement of monetary bail.

This has led some state prosecutors to begin filing individual petitions to keep violent defendants – who could qualify for release when the new law goes into effect – in jail while they await trial. One county’s state prosecutor’s office has already filed petitions on more than 50 domestic violence defendants.

Domestic Violence in Illinois

Last year, an Illinois domestic violence hotline received almost 30,000 calls from domestic violence survivors, an increase of five percent from the year before. Domestic violence organizations were able to help more than 49,000 survivors. Tragically, there are thousands of women and men in Illinois and across the country that are trapped in the cycle of domestic violence.

Domestic violence advocates explain that this cycle of abuse has three phases – the tension-building phase, the acute battering episode, and the honeymoon phase. It is important to understand that because the relationship between the abuser and the survivor exists in a cycle, there is never a beginning phase or an end phase. One cycle just melds into the next.

The abuse begins with a phase of tension building. Any issue can trigger the abuser’s anger – finances, children, work, or other issues. The abuser will subject the survivor to verbal abuse at this point and the survivor will do all they can to try to prevent the inevitable violence by doing all they can to please the abuser.

At some point, the abuser crosses into the acute battery episode, involving physical violence. If the abusive relationship is a non-violent one, the battery episode may include the abuser subjecting the survivor to more intense psychological control. These tactics can include threatening violence, cutting off access to money, and taking away “privileges” such as a phone or vehicle.

Following the acute battering phase, the abuse moves into the honeymoon phase. During this phase, the abuser expresses remorse for his or her actions, promising the violence will never happen again and expressing their love. During this phase, the abuser convinces the survivor that everything is perfect and the future is bright.

But then a month, week, day, or an hour later, the tension-building phase begins again.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney for Legal Help

If you are a domestic violence survivor, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your children, including ending your marriage and providing your family the opportunity for a future that really is bright. Call Weiler & Associates, Inc. at 630-331-9110 to schedule a confidential consultation with a dedicated St. Charles, IL divorce lawyer and find out what legal options you may have.


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