Orders of protection an avenue for residents in need, advocates say

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A recent Rockford double murder has once again brought the issue of domestic violence into discussion.

Last week, Christina Langston-Hill and her husband Teon Hill were found dead at their home on Bruce St.

Two “persons of interest” in the case were under orders of protection, and no stalking orders at the time of the murders.

Victims of domestic violence, harassment or intimidation have options to protect themselves from certain individuals.

A no-stalking order can be used to keep those who aren’t related to you away.

“If they had that familial or child and common relationship then they qualify for an order of protection,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross.

Emergency orders are also available. Unfortunately, victims have to return to court to continue the protection.

Victims do have to return to court to continue the protection, Jennifer Cacciapaglia Manager of the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention Office, explained.

“I know that there are judges who do a really good job at being mindful, trying to make sure that those people are separated,” said Manager of the Mayor’s office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention Jennifer Cacciapaglia. “But at the end of the day, you’re still in the same building and you’re still in the same space.”

It’s a difficult experience for many, Cacciapaglia says she hears it all the time.

“I had a survivor who called me from in front of the courthouse and said I can’t do it. I’m just going to go home and try to make sure I don’t make him mad,” said Cacciapaglia. “That is something that is a conversation around giving up on the order of protection that happens more often than not.”

Advocates say they hope to have a virtual system for emergency orders at Rockford’s future Family Peace Center.

“We want to make sure that we have a court system facility so that they can go down the hall, get their order of protection,” Hite Ross said.

Supporters say there is help in place for those in need, seeking it is worth every effort.

“Please, if you feel you may need an order of protection, consider pursuing it. Contact a service agency,” Cacciapaglia said.

“It allows law enforcement an extra avenue to try to protect them and be proactive and vigilant in making sure that they are kept safe,” Hite Ross said.

Advocates say it’s critical residents immediately call police if they are suspicious their offender is nearby.

Violating an order of protection is against the law and individuals will get arrested.

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