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Illinois Unveils New Domestic Violence Laws

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) - Four new laws aim to crack down on domestic violence in Illinois.

The laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn vary from harsher punishments for repeat offenders to requiring schools to take action to prevent dating violence among teenagers. The overall intent, Quinn says, is to improve public safety across the state.

“We don’t want anyone afraid to be on the streets, and we don’t want anyone to be afraid in their own home,” he said.

Two of the laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The first will reclassify domestic violence as a felony for anyone who has a prior domestic violence conviction. The second offers protection to victims who are covered by their abusers’ insurance policies, allowing companies to communicate with those victims without revealing their current addresses to the abusers.

The other laws go into effect right away, including one that requires school boards to adopt policies on dating violence between teenagers.

The final law extends the reporting deadline for the task force charged with creating a statewide domestic violence prevention program.

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