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August 17, 2004

Governor Blagojevich signs legislation to make restraining orders more effective
Language of domestic violence protection orders must now mention their nationwide applicability and possibility of federal charges

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Aiming to protect victims of domestic abuse, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 2495 today, ensuring that Illinois’ emergency protection orders contain clear language that warn abusers of possible harsh penalties. The bill states that Illinois’ restraining orders must contain language informing domestic abuse perpetrators that the orders are valid in all fifty states.  Abusers may also be arraigned under federal charges for violating restraining orders outside of Illinois.
 “I recognize the importance of restraining orders as a way to protect victims of domestic abuse; this bill will make those protection orders more effective,” the Governor stated on Monday.   “This new law is intended to act as a strong deterrent to repeat abusers that are tempted to stalk and harass victims outside of Illinois’ borders.”   
Senate Bill 2495, sponsored by Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Rep. Harry Osterman (D-Chicago), adds to existing emergency protection order legislation and works in concert with the Federal Violence Against Women Act.  The bill passed the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives unanimously.
"This legislation will make it clear to all parties affected by an order of protection - the protected individual, the subject of the order and the law enforcement community, that such an order is enforceable in every state in the nation," said Sen. Cullerton. "An order of protection is not effective unless its terms are fully understood by the person it is taken out against. This measure will leave no doubt about the consequences of breaking those terms."
The bill applies to all three types of protection orders: emergency, interim, and plenary.  Emergency orders are often approved without an official hearing and are valid for two to three weeks.  Interim protection orders protect victims for a period up to 30 days while plenary orders can be valid for up to two years. 
There are over 572,000 cases of domestic assaults reported to federal officials every year, while experts estimate that between two and four million women are battered by family members annually.


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