Illinois DV laws closer to gender neutral


On August 6, the Governor of the state of Illinois signed four new domestic violence laws into effect. What I looked for, and did not find, was misandry encoded into the new laws.

I am not a lawyer.  If you need legal advice, hire a lawyer.  I am offering here my lay opinion on four new laws passed in Illinois:

  •  HB 958 – defines domestic violence and escalates a second conviction to a felony.
  •  HB3379 – mandates that schools teach on dating violence and “age appropriate” sex education (amends health code)
  •  HB 3300 – mandates use of alternate paths of communication  when the patient requests it and it’s suspected to be domestic-violence related.
  • HB 3236 – provides for education on dating violence in schools (amends school code)

Note that where the terms appear, the text does not say, “domestic violence against women” or “violence against women” but “domestic violence.”  It appears (in my non-lawyer opinion) to stick to a gender-neutral paradigm, at least on paper.  I’d call this a successful step away from the woman-as-victim paradigm.  I’m just block-quoting the relevant passages here, though; someone more fluent in legalese may shoot my theory all to bits.

HB 958

6            (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2)  (from Ch. 38, par. 12-3.2)
7            Sec. 12-3.2. Domestic battery.
8            (a) A person commits domestic battery if he or she
9                  knowingly without legal justification by any means:
10                (1) Causes bodily harm to any family or household
11                       member;
12                (2) Makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking
13                       nature with any family or household member.



defines “Teen dating violence” in relation to training teens about health, family concerns, and sex-ed

11            “Teen dating violence” means either of the following:
12                (1) A pattern of behavior in which a person uses or
13                      threatens to use physical, mental, or emotional abuse to
14                      control another person who is in a dating relationship with
15                      the person, where one or both persons are 13 to 19 years of
16                      age.
17                (2) Behavior by which a person uses or threatens to use
18                       sexual violence against another person who is in a dating
19                       relationship with the person, where one or both persons are
20                      13 to 19 years of age.


HB 3300


Sec. 355b. Claim-related information; alternative means of
17                communication.
18            (a) For the purposes of this Section, “claim-related
19                   information” means all claim or billing information relating
20                   specifically to an insured, subscriber, or person covered by an
21                    individual or group policy of accident and health insurance
22                   issued, delivered, amended, or renewed by a company doing
23                   business in this State.
24            (b) A company that issues, delivers, amends, or renews an

HB3300 Enrolled    – 6 –    LRB098 07664 RPM 37737 b

1        individual or group policy of accident and health insurance on
2        or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th
3        General Assembly shall accommodate a reasonable request by a
4        person covered by a policy issued by the company to receive
5        communications of claim-related information from the company
6        by alternative means or at alternative locations if the person
7        clearly states that disclosure of all or part of the
8        information could endanger the person.
9            (c) If a child is covered by a policy issued by a company,
10                then the child’s parent or guardian may make a request to the
11                 company pursuant to subsection (b) of this Section.
12          (d) A company may require   (1) a person making a request
13                pursuant to subsection (b) of this Section to do so in writing,
14               (2) the request to contain a statement that disclosure of all
15                      or part of the claim-related information to which the request
16                      pertains could endanger the person or child, and (3) the
17                      specification of an alternative address, telephone number, or
18                      other method of contact.
19          (e) Except with the express consent of the person making a
20               request pursuant to subsection (b) of this Section, a company
21                may not disclose to the policyholder (1) the address, telephone
22               number, or any other personally identifying information of the
23               person who made the request or child for whose benefit a
24               request was made, (2) the nature of the health care services
25               provided, or (3) the name or address of the provider of the
26               health care services.

HB3300 Enrolled    – 7 –    LRB098 07664 RPM 37737 b

1            (f) A company that makes reasonable and good faith efforts
2                 to comply with this Section shall not be subject to civil or
3                 criminal liability on the grounds of noncompliance with this
4                 Section.
5            (g) The Director shall adopt rules to guide companies in
6                  guarding against the disclosure of the information protected
7                  pursuant to this Section.
8            (h) Nothing in this Section shall prevent, hinder, or
9                  otherwise affect the entry of an appropriate order made in the
10                best interests of a child by a court of competent jurisdiction
11                 adjudicating disputed issues of child welfare or custody.

It does make mention of mandating post-mastectomy care in another section, but that’s a different subject.  It would be nice to also have, for instance, an equally valuable follow-up care after certain male urological procedures, but I don’t know what the standard of care is, where it’s stated, and actually it’s a different rabbit trail.

HB 3236

(b) The Eradicate Domestic Violence Task Force shall do the
17        following:
18                (1) Conduct meetings to evaluate the effectiveness and
19                      feasibility of statewide implementation of the curricula
20                     of the Step Back Program at Oak Park and River Forest High
21                      School, located in Cook County, Illinois, for the
22                      prevention of domestic violence.
23                (2) Invite the testimony of and confer with experts on

HB3236 Enrolled    – 2 –    LRB098 10742 NHT 41087 b

1            relevant topics as needed.
2                (3) Propose content for integration into school
3                       curricula aimed at preventing domestic violence.
4                (4) Propose a method of training facilitators on the
5                       school curricula aimed at preventing domestic violence.

(d) The following underlying purposes should be liberally
5        construed by the task force convened under this Section:
6                (1) Recognize that, according to the Centers for
7                      Disease Control and Prevention, National Intimate Partner
8                      and Sexual Violence Survey, December 2010 Summary Report,
9                      on average 24 people per minute are victims of rape,
10                     physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in
11                     the United States, equaling more than 12 million women and
12                     men.


Thanks to @chicagoreport and @bernardchapin for spreading word that these passed.


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