The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 19, 2013

New domestic violence laws good start

Love is a relationship nurtured by care and respect.

Sadly, for more than 100,000 Illinoisans each year, love hurts, scars and kills.

Tougher laws and better education have helped bring domestic violence more into the public awareness, but can go only so far.

One in four adults is still likely to experience mental or physical abuse in a relationship at some point. Women are most frequently the victims, and domestic violence remains the leading cause of injuries to women in the United States.

Too often, though, emotions overrule logic and the victim returns to the abuser. Perhaps it’s a promise of such violence never happening again or the victim feeling there is no other option available. That continues a cycle that leaves the abuser likely to repeat the behavior.

Domestic violence in Illinois is a misdemeanor in most cases, regardless of how many times it has happened in the past.

Through House Bill 958, signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn, the penalties will be increased starting Jan. 1. It is hoped this will send a message to abusers their actions will not be tolerated.

Under the new law, sponsored by state Rep. Emily McAsey of Lockport and state Sen. Pat McGuire of Joliet, domestic violence will become a felony if the person charged has a previous conviction for the same crime.

Four or more convictions could result in up to a 14-year sentence.

It was encouraging that a related bill addresses the growing problem of teen dating violence.

House Bill 3379 will require school boards to adopt policies on teen dating violence. Schools will be required to educate students about dating violence, and schools will have to have a course of action for if an employee becomes aware of a violent relationship.

Two or three decades ago, domestic violence was something that was simple, not discussed in anything more than hushed tones. That is not the approach that will bring about change.

Instead, attention is needed, discussion is crucial and punishment must be significant enough to stop future occurrences. These two new state laws will provide a good next step in the right direction.

Text Only
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results