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IL defense lawyerThe first thing people think of when they hear the phrase “domestic violence” is often a spouse abusing their partner. However, it is just as common for children under the age of 18 to be victims of the abuse or neglect. Minors can be affected in a number of ways by not only being a victim of domestic violence, but also if they are a witness to the abuse or neglect. Side effects vary based on the age of the minor, but some include:

  • Increased crying or signs of terror such as hiding;
  • Bed-wetting or thumb-sucking;
  • Drop of self-esteem or feelings of guilt;
  • Trouble in school or becoming anti-social;
  • Less participation in activities;
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse;
  • Depression or behavior changes; and
  • Mimicking the abusive behavior.

As with adults in a domestic violence case, an order of protection can be ordered to keep the abuser away from any minor in an abusive situation. However, it is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to issue an order of protection.

How the Court Handles Cases of Domestic Violence of a Minor

In the state of Illinois, there are several steps to determine whether a child should be allowed time with a person accused of domestic abuse. After an order of protection goes into effect, the court will:

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