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How does law enforcement respond to domestic violence calls?

If you have found yourself in a situation of domestic violence, it can be very scary. However, you should trust that Illinois law enforcement is there for you and will offer you protection. While law enforcement cannot make the situation go away, they have certain responsibilities to you when you call them for help.

According to the State Police, officers arriving on the scene of a domestic violence call will carefully assess the situation to gather evidence of the abuse. They will arrest the abuser if they find sufficient evidence to support your claim. Even if they do not make an arrest, they will help you to get your personal items and leave the home. They will even help you get transportation if needed. You have the right to file chargers against you abuser and the officer should explain this to you and help you to file charges if you would like. Finally, if you have a protection order against the abuser, they will arrest that person regardless of evidence of current abuse as long as the person is in violation of the order.

Law enforcement officers cannot make you leave the scene. That is your choice. They cannot prevent you from going back to the home or make you file charges or get a protective order. They also cannot remove the abuser from the home unless the residence is only in your name and the abuser has no claim to the property. Keep in mind that law enforcement will do what they can to help, but they are limited by the law as to exactly what they can do. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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