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Relationship Issues

Domestic Violence

Under Illinois State law, "Domestic violence" is defined as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, interference with personal liberty or the willful deprivation of a dependent, including but not limited to, spouses, former spouses, children, stepchildren, people who share a common residence, pepole who have or allegedly have a child in common, or who have or aldreay have a blood relation through a child; personas who have or have had a dating relationship or engagement, and disabled dependents or their caregivers.

Under Illinois State law, an individual who appears to be harassing another person in a way that causes emotional distress can be classified as domestic violence. This behavior can include creating a disturbance at the individual's place of work or school, repeatedly calling the individual's place of work or home, repeatedly following the person around, repeated surveillance of an individual, repeatedly concealing a child (17 years or younger), repeatedly threatening to take a child away, or repeated confinement or physical restraint.

Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:

  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of an individual
  • a person with whom the individual shares a child in common
  • a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the individual as a spouse or intimate partner

Dating Violence

"Dating Violence" is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with another individual and where the existence of the relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with the consideration of the following factors:

  • the length of the relationship
  • the type of the relationship
  • the frequency of the interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Dating violence includes, but not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.


Under Illinois State law, an individual commits "stalking" when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows that the course of conduct woudl cause a reasonable person to:

  • fear for his or her safety
  • fear for the safety of a third party
  • suffer from emotional distress

An individual also commits stalking when he or she, knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least 2 separate occasions follows another person or places that individual under surveillance and:

  • at any time transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that individual OR
  • places an individual in immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that individual


Abused Women Resource

Relationship Web

Stalking Resource Center

Books on Relationships and Developing Intimacy

  • Intimate Connections by David Burns
  • The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner

Books on Relationships and Domestic Violence

  • Blinded by Love by Mounique Houd
  • When Men Batter Women: New Insights Into Ending Abusive Relationships by Jacobson & Gottman
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