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New Illinois law helps domestic violence victims separate wireless accounts from their attackers

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A new Illinois law is making it easier for domestic violence victims struggling to financially break free from their attackers.

Under the new law victims with an order of protection can separate their cell phone accounts from their abusers with a court order.

Before, victims would have to go to their wireless companies themselves and potentially pay a fee.

“That is the first thing (domestic violence victims) say, ‘I don't want to lose my cell phone, I don't want to lose that piece of me but I also can't afford it.’ So, it is something as advocates we're already helping survivors with…,” says Family Resources’ survivor services supervisor, Ashley Velez.

Velez says the new services are free and victims can keep their cell phone number.

After a court order is issued, the court clerk will contact the wireless company.

“The company will have up to 72 hours to respond,” says Velez.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2018 and protects children included in the wireless contract as well.