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We hosted Governor Bruce Rauner for a signing ceremony of HB2822, which creates a statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be victims of trafficking as youth and adults, and we’re… Read More

Statute of Limitations in Illinois

There’s a lot of confusion around the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in Illinois. Here’s what the law states as of January 1, 2014:

  • There is no statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual abuse, provided there is physical evidence of the abuse, or if a mandated reporter knowingly failed to report the abuse.
  • If there is not physical evidence or a mandated reporter did not fail to make a report, the case can be prosecuted within 20 years of the victim’s 18th birthday.
  • Misdemeanor criminal child sexual abuse may be prosecuted within 10 years of the victim’s 18th birthday.

Now, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is working to give victims even more time to come forward and seek justice. She is calling for the complete removal of the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes against children, as well as felony criminal sexual assault.

ChicagoCAC is in full support of removing these qualifiers to the statute of limitations, clearing the way for all victims to have a chance at justice by reporting abuse to law enforcement. We know that more than 90% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the victim knows personally, and many victims delay disclosure because of that violation of trust, the shame of being victimized and the fear that reporting will only cause further pain.

We know survivors who have garnered the courage to finally come forward to report their abuse, only to be told at the police station that officers cannot accept the report – they may not even be able to write it down. This legal issue is a serious setback for victims’ healing, it keeps survivors silent, and it stops law enforcement from preventing further abuse by these perpetrators.

At the end of the day, removing the statute of limitations means justice for victims, and it means protecting children from future abuse by known perpetrators.

There’s a lot of confusion around the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in Illinois. Here’s what the law states as of January 1, 2014: There is no statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual… Read More

Advocacy action: Help improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities

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Representative Patricia Bellock (R-Westmont) introduced House Bill 5643 (HB5643) to improve DCFS investigations involving children with disabilities. Rep. Bullock consulted with ChicagoCAC and our Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities (CASACD) to ensure the bill moves Illinois in the right direction to provide best practice services for children with disabilities who have been abused or neglected.

HB5643 amends the Illinois Children and Family Services Act and would create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force to examine and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect.

Please contact your state representative and senator now to help improve child protective investigations for some of our most vulnerable children. Please hurry – the deadline for public comment is Friday, April 15! 

Take action

First, find your state senator’s and representative’s contact information here. Then click the button below to send them our template email. Be sure to add in their names in the “dear” field, and fill in your mailing address at the bottom.

Having trouble? Copy and paste this message into the body of an email:

Dear [LEGISLATOR],

I’m writing to ask you to support House Bill 5643, the DCFS Enhanced Services Task Force bill. As your constituent, I am passionate about ensuring that all children – and especially children with disabilities – receive the best care in the aftermath of abuse or neglect.

HB5643 would amend the Children and Family Services Act to create the Enhanced Services for Children with Disabilities Task Force, which will example and review the Department of Children & Family Services’ protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse and neglect.

I urge you to work with Rep. Patricia Bellock and your colleagues to move HB5643 forward for a hearing, so that children with disabilities who are involved in a child abuse investigation have access to the protection, services and care they need.

It is the duty and responsibility of the State of Illinois to provide all necessary services to protect abused children, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities – who are three to five times more likely to be abused – receive the care that meets their needs.

Thank you for your swift action to protect children in Illinois.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME] [YOUR ADDRES] [YOUR CITY, STATE & ZIP]

Or call your legislators using this script:

I’m [YOUR NAME], a constituent of [LEGISLATOR]. I am calling to ask [LEGISLATOR] to support House Bill 5643, which would create a task force to examine and review the DCFS protocols and procedures for interviewing children with disabilities who are victims of abuse or neglect. As a constituent, I am passionate about providing the best services and care for children who have been abused, and we have an added responsibility to ensure that children with disabilities have services that meet their needs. I urge [LEGISLATOR] to work with [his/her] colleagues in the General Assembly to pass this important legislation. Thank you.

Thank you for making a difference for children and families! Help us spread the word by sharing this page with your networks! 

Questions? Contact Trevor Peterson: (312) 492-3728 or TPeterson@ChicagoCAC.org

A bill to improve the state’s response to abuse of children with disabilities was recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives. Please take a moment now to contact your legislators and ensure children with disabilities get the services they need – we make it easy!

Our Results

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Last year, we served more families than ever before – and we expect to see even more in 2016. Help us be here for the children who need us by making a donation today! Remember, your donations help ensure that all of our services are free of charge to every client, every time.

Advocacy Action

For the past month, without a state budget and with the threat of serious budget cuts, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and partner nonprofits have continued to work to protect children. However, if the impasse continues or if a budget is passed with significant cuts to Children’s Advocacy Centers, services to abused children across the state will be at risk. We need you to take action now, by contacting your legislators and the governor, asking them to explore all revenue options and pass a budget that funds the work of CACs and protects our children. 

For the past month, without a state budget and with the threat of serious budget cuts, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and partner nonprofits have continued to work to protect children. However, if the impasse continues or if a… Read More

Advocacy action: Help secure vital funding for CACs in Illinois

The current Illinois budget crisis puts ChicagoCAC and the other 38 child advocacy centers in Illinois in serious jeopardy. Please help the children we serve by contacting your legislator now – we make it easy!  Read More

The current Illinois budget crisis puts ChicagoCAC and the other 38 child advocacy centers in Illinois in serious jeopardy. Please help the children we serve by contacting your legislator now – we make it easy! 

ChicagoCAC at Hill Day

ChicagoCAC Staff in DCChicagoCAC Staff with Rep. Kelly

Executive Director Char Rivette, Senior Director of Clinical Services Jan Waters and our PATHH Partner Stephen Budde met with Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Congressman Bobby L. Rush as part of National Children’s Alliance’s Hill Day. Talking with legislators about our mental health and other programs helps demonstrate the need for trauma-informed services for children and families healing from abuse.

ChicagoCAC Staff with Rep. Kelly

Executive Director Char Rivette, Senior Director of Clinical Services Jan Waters and our PATHH Partner Stephen Budde met with Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Congressman Bobby L. Rush as part of National Children’s Alliance’s Hill Day. Talking with legislators… Read More

ChicagoCAC at Hill Day

Char at Hill DayChicagoCAC Executive Director Char Rivette is in Washington, D.C., this week with representatives from centers across Illinois and the country as part of National Children’s Alliance’s Hill Days. They’re meeting with legislators to talk about the importance of federal support for centers, so we can best serve the children and families who need us.

Char at Hill Day

ChicagoCAC Executive Director Char Rivette is in Washington, D.C., this week with representatives from centers across Illinois and the country as part of National Children’s Alliance’s Hill Days. They’re meeting with legislators to talk about the importance of

Gov. Quinn signs law to remove statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, ensuring survivors no longer run out of time to seek justice

Press Release | August 8, 2013

This afternoon, Governor Quinn signed a bill into law that eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for sex offenses that occurred when the victim was under 18 years old. The legislation is a significant victory for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, many of whom take years to disclose the abuse.

“We are deeply grateful to the legislators who championed this change, which helps ensure that justice is possible for all victims of child sexual abuse,” said Char Rivette, executive director of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. “Moving forward, no survivor will finally gather the courage to report abuse, only to be told it’s too late to do anything.” Read More

Press Release | August 8, 2013 This afternoon, Governor Quinn signed a bill into law that eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for sex offenses that occurred when the victim was under 18 years old. The legislation is… Read More