Advocates praise new domestic violence, stalking laws

Two new state laws strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence and stalking were welcomed today by advocates who have long complained that Illinois does too little to stop these crimes.

Under existing law, stalking victims are unable to obtain an order of protection unless they have a domestic relationship with the stalker or have suffered an attack.

Beginning Jan. 1, a victim will be able to secure an order of protection against anyone who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly engages in repeated and unwanted contact with them or with a member of their immediate family or household. Victims must prove they are alarmed or experience reasonable apprehension regarding their safety or the safety of family members.

A second law requires that parolees accused of domestic violence be automatically arrested for violating their parole.

It also doubles to 4 years the mandatory supervised release term for a number of domestic crimes and requires 40 hours of domestic violence training for parole officers handing offenders convicted of domestic violence felonies.

Read the rest of this Chicago Tribune article here.

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