Governor Quinn Signs Four Laws Cracking Down on Domestic Violenc - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Governor Quinn Signs Four Laws Cracking Down on Domestic Violence

Updated: Aug 6, 2013 10:24 PM

The state of Illinois is taking steps to stop domestic violence. More than one hundred thousand people in Illinois are impacted by that crime annually.

Tuesday, Governor Pat Quinn signed four bills into law to address the issue.

These laws aim to crack down on domestic violence and try to prevent it from happening in the first place.

"We must deal with any kind of abuse and deal with it properly and directly and with the force of law," Governor Quinn said before signing the bills in front a Chicago church Tuesday afternoon.

Kris Hull Haughton, program manager of Christian Care's domestic violence shelter in Rock Island, says the four bills signed by the governor come as welcome news:

"I'm actually very excited about the new laws," she said. "Domestic violence has been one of the most pervasive, systemic problems within our society, and we usually have a hard time addressing those."

One of the bills signed by the governor seeks to address the problem by increasing penalties for repeat offenders.

Right now, many cases of domestic violence are considered misdemeanors. But as of January 1, 2014, it will be classified as a felony crime for anyone who has a prior domestic violence conviction.

"The safest time is when those batterers are incarcerated, because then the individuals can actually walk safely around the streets," Hull Haughton said.

Another new law allows insurance companies to communicate with victims who are covered by their abusers' policies in ways that don't divulge information like their current addresses to their abusers.

"A lot of these guys are unfortunately pretty crafty and they try to find individuals any way they can," Hull Houghton explained.

"We want to make sure that their address is protected from those who might do them abuse," Governor Quinn said.

The governor also signed a law extending the reporting deadline for the task force that's developing a statewide prevention program aimed at adolescent violence.

The other law he signed focuses on schools. It requires school boards to adopt policies on teen dating violence that establish procedures for school employee response to cases of it. And, it requires schools to educate students about dating violence.

"I've worked within the school system," Hull Houghton said, "and sometimes they don't realize that this is not acceptable, especially if they're seeing it at home already."

"And so it's yet another way that we can start addressing this and stopping the cycle," she added.

Christian Care's shelter is helping in whatever ways it can - serving 54 people in 2012 alone.

But there's still a lot more work to do. Kris Hull Haughton says all of the new laws are a good step forward in that process.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, there is help.

You can call Christian Care's 24-hour crisis line at 309-788-CARE (2273).

If you would like to learn how you can help domestic violence survivors in our community, you can find that information online at

Donations are always needed to help this non-profit continue its mission.

Monetary and material donations can be sent to:

    PO Box 4176

    Rock Island IL, 61204

    Care of: Christian Care

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