Victims Economic Security and Safety Leave Domestic or Sexual Violence

"Domestic or sexual violence", as defined by the Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) of 2003, means domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

"Domestic violence" means abuse, as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, by a family or household member, as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 (750 ILCS 60/103) defines the following:



  • "Abuse" 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.

  • "Family or household members" include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, persons with disability and their personal assistants, and caregivers as defined in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Section 12-21 of the Criminal Code of 1961. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a dating relationship. In the case of a high-risk adult with disabilities, "family or household members" includes any person who has the responsibility for a high-risk adult as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of a high-risk adult with disabilities voluntarily, or by express or implied contract, or by court order.


"Sexual assault" means any conduct proscribed by the Criminal Code of 1961 in Sections 12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15, and 12-16.

"Stalking" means any conduct proscribed by the Criminal Code of 1961 in Sections 12-7.3, 12-7.4, and 12-17.5.