Welcome to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s, Domestic Violence Survivor Resource Page!

Below you will learn about your rights as a victim of domestic violence and get step by step instructions on how to petition the court for an Order of Protection. You will also be able to browse other useful information at your leisure.

How did I get here?

These are the words spoken by so many when they find themselves in a situation, they didn’t see coming due to the outcomes of a relationship they no longer recognize.

The Sheriff’s Office is here to help

Sheriff Tom Dart created a Unit to better serve victims of domestic violence (DV) and human trafficking named Victim Support Services (VSS). This Unit is comprised of qualified domestic violence, and/or sexual assault and human trafficking survivors. Staff are 40-hour DV trained and include license clinicians. Bilingual staff is available. VSS Domestic Violence Liaisons can be reached at (708) 232-4545 Monday through Saturday.

This is NOT an emergency phone number.

IF YOU ARE EXPERENCING AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911

As a Domestic Violence victim, you have legal rights!

Below are frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and a short summary of the rights and resources designed to assist domestic violence victims.

Q: Now that I’m here, is there any assistance that is out there for me?
A: Yes. There are several helpful resources available for individuals who have experiences like yours.

Q: Where could I find out more information about the resources available to me?
A: The best places to start if you live in Illinois is the the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 877-863-6338 or 877-863-6339(TTY), The Network. If you live in other states start at 800-799-7233 the National Domestic Violence Hotline

Please Note: If you have challenges navigating resources, please call CCSO’s Victim Support Service Domestic Violence Liaison at 708-232-4545

Q: As a Domestic Violence Victim, are there any laws created to help me?
A: Yes. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act outlines the laws in place to guide and implement safety measures for domestic violence victims.

Your Rights At-A-Glance

Here’s a look at your rights and available resources designed to guide you through this tough time. Did you know that domestic violence victims and their families have rights? THE ILLINOIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT OF 1986 (750 ILCS 60/) states you have the following rights:

  1. You have the right to file for an Order of Protection (Emergency, Civil No-Contact Order, Stalking No-Contact Order and/or Firearm Restraining Order).
  2. You have the right to have your filed emergency Order of Protection petition NOT be publicly available until the petition is served to the respondent.
  3. You have the right to request that your children and/or additional family members be added to your Order of Protection order.
  4. You have the right (free of charge) to file, amend, vacate, certify, or photocopy an Order of Protection.
  5. You have the right to simplified forms and clerical assistance to help with the writing and filing of an Order of Protection petition.
  6. You have the right to connect with a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate for free services offered through a Domestic Violence Agency.
  7. You have the right to THE VICTIMS’ ECONOMIC SECURITY & SAFETY ACT (VESSA) (820 ILCS 180/1 et seq. 56 Ill. Adm. Code 280)
    • What is VESSA? – an act that protects employment security and workplace safety of domestic violence victims.
    • What does VESSA provide? – a legal right to: protecting against discrimination, reasonable accommodations to workplace facilities and a yearly allotment (up to 12 weeks) of unpaid leave.
    • What does VESSA safeguard? – group health plan benefits are maintained through duration of allotted leave “under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee continued to work”.
  1. If you are a victim of a violent crime, you have the right to apply for Assistance for Victims of Violent Crimes.

Please Note: If you are having challenges navigating resources, please do not hesitate to call CCSO’s Victim Support Services, Domestic Violence Liaison at 708-232-4545.

How do I petition the court for an Order of Protection?

For instructions on how to petition the court for an Order of Protection, please click on one of the courthouses nearest to you listed below. If you would like to petition the courts after-hours or E-file, please click the corresponding link below.

 

Domestic Violence Survivor Messaging Portal

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has created a new civilian role within their Victim Support Services Unit, titled Domestic Violence (DV) Liaison to better serve survivors of Domestic Violence. The DV Liaisons are all survivors themselves and are available to aid Petitioners who have been granted an Order of Protection (OP) in understanding the Sheriff’s Civil Process procedure. This Unit is available to facilitate communication between the Petitioner and the Civil Process Unit, connect victims to Domestic Violence Agencies and share education regarding their rights.  All the Domestic Violence Liaisons are 40-hour DV trained. Bilingual staff is available.

If you are a Petitioner and would like to access this Portal to check the status of service for your Order of Protection or set up a safe time that you would like to speak to a CCSO Domestic Violence Liaison that can connect you to services, please follow the instructions and the link below. If you are experiencing any issues utilizing the Portal, please call the CCSO DV Liaison line at (708) 232-4545. They are here for you to assist during this challenging time.

Should I be thinking of a safety plan?

If you are in a situation that you may be feeling unsafe for yourself or your children, you need a safety plan. It is best to create your safety plan with a certified domestic violence advocate. We’ve provided the below links to help you start thinking about what that plan looks like.

Additional Domestic Violence Resources

If you are having challenges navigating resources or are the petitioner wanting an update on status of an Order of Protection service, call CCSO’s Victim Support Services, Domestic Violence Liaison at 708-232-4545.

To speak immediately with a domestic violence professional, call one of these 24-hour hotlines:

Illinois Domestic Violence Helpline (877) 863-6338 TTY 1(877) 863-6339

National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233 TTY 1 (800) 787-3224

Attention Service Providers

For agencies looking to assist DV victims/survivors that CCSO Victim Support Services Unit comes into contact with, please fill out the referral form attached and send back to CCSO.VictimSupportServices@ccsheriff.org.