As a medical student at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, you are subject to the informational disclosure requirement contained in §401 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (750 ILCS 60/101 et seq.l. This means that you are required to offer to a person suspected to be a victim of abuse immediate and adequate information regarding services available to victims of abuse.

"Abuse" for purposes of the Domestic Violence Act means physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation but does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent or person in loco parentis. Those persons entitled to the protection of the Act include (i) any person abused by a family or household member; (ii) any high-risk adult with disabilities who is abused, neglected, or exploited by a family or household member: (iii) any minor child or dependent adult in the care of such person: and (iv) any person residing or employed at a private home or public shelter which is housing an abused family or household member. A "high-risk adult with disabilities" means a person aged 18 or over whose physical or mental disability impairs his or her ability to seek or obtain protection from abuse, neglect, or exploitation (750 ILCS 60/103 and 201).

The information that must be offered by all health care professionals to suspected victims of abuse includes the availability of shelter care through social service agencies or other entities which are located within the same locality in which the professional provides services. In Springfield, emergency or shelter care services are available to many suspected victims of abuse through the Sojourn Services, Inc. That center maintains a HOTLINE telephone number - 726-5200 - and its regular office telephone is 726-5100. These shelter care centers also generally provide counseling, advocacy and related support services for abuse victims.

In addition to the services available through public and private shelter care centers, a suspected victim of abuse should be advised that court orders of protection may be sought, and that assistance in the filing of a petition for such an order is available. Any person not represented by counsel must be provided, through the circuit clerk's office, simplified forms and clerical assistance to help with the writing and filing of an action for orders of protection (750 ILCS 60/202(dO). A court must enter an order of protection upon finding that a petitioner has been abused as defined by the Act. Violation of an order of protection can be criminally prosecuted in
some instances and through contempt of court proceedings (750 ILCS 60/214 and 223).

As a provider of health care services required to offer such information to suspected victims of abuse, you are provided good faith immunity from civil liability for any act or inadequacy of those services provided by the agency (P.A. 87-436. § 1).

  • Booklets that explain domestic violence and provide derailed information about resources available for domestic violence victims have been distributed at key locations around the School for your convenience: the Medical Resource Center (Carbondale). Student Affairs Office (Carbondale and Springfield), Medical Library (Springfield), Student Lounge {Springfield), Office of the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs (Springfield), and ail Clerkship Coordinator offices (Springfield).