Court Advocacy Program

South Suburban Family Shelter provides legal help for victims of Domestic Violence through our Court Advocacy Program. Court Advocates are present in the 6th Suburban District, Markham Courthouse Monday- Friday 8am- 4:30pm to provide assistance with filing an Orders of Protection, advocacy, information, and support that domestic violence victims need when navigating the legal system.

Court Office: 708-331-7253

The purpose of the Court Advocacy Program is to inform and assist victims of domestic violence when navigating the legal system. In doing so, Court Advocates ensure that victims are aware of their legal rights under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 as it pertains to both civil and criminal court systems. Advocates are available to assist with the preparation of Protective Orders and accompany victims to court for support as they attempt to obtain relief from domestic violence. Although Protective Orders are temporary they can provide relief in several ways.

Legal Remedies Available on Protective Orders:

  • Prohibit the respondent from causing physical abuse, harassment, interference with personal liberty, stalking, intimidation of a dependent, etc.
  • Exclusive Possession of the residence- this can order a respondent to be removed from the shared or common dwelling if it can be proven that the presence of the perpetrator places the petitioner and other household members in danger (if there is a threat to safety).
  • Temporary custody of minor children.
  • Prohibit the respondent from having any contact with the employer of the petitioner and school of protected parties listed on the Protective Order.
  • Prohibit the respondent from removing or concealing minor children.
  • Order the respondent to surrender any firearms and/or FOID card to local law enforcement.

Forms of Abuse that are Illegal in Illinois:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Stalking

Remember:

  • You do NOT need a police report to obtain or seek a Protective Order.
  • You can seek immediate relief from the legal system (court system and/or Police Department) if necessary.
  • Reporting abusive incidents can be a powerful tool in legal proceedings.
  • You have a LEGAL RIGHT to reside in your home peacefully and safely, free from abuse.
  • Court Advocates are NOT attorneys; however, they are knowledgeable professionals that are experienced and trained to understand legal rights available to ALL victims of domestic violence in Illinois.