Beyond Words 2017

Join ChicagoCAC’s Community Advisory Council in recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month with BEYOND WORDS, a reception honoring survivors of child sexual abuse. We will enjoy live music, a poetry reading and light refreshments. Guests are invited to decorate a t-shirt as part of our interactive art display. Learn more and RSVP.

ChicagoCAC Beyond Words - April 2

Join ChicagoCAC’s Community Advisory Council in recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month with BEYOND WORDS, a reception honoring survivors of child sexual abuse. We will enjoy live music, a poetry reading and light refreshments. Guests are invited to decorate… Read More

Safety over The Holidays

During the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to seeing friends and family at various events. But for survivors of child sexual abuse, these get-togethers can be a stressful time of being around their abuser or the loved ones who reacted poorly to disclosures. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

To help adult survivors of sexual abuse:
  • Stand with survivors. Victims deserve to be heard, believed and supported. Let survivors know that you believe them and want to help them feel comfortable.
  • Show compassion. Everyone reacts to trauma differently. If a friend or family member is withdrawn, declines to participate in activities or seems upset, check in with them. Offer to listen, and let them know that you respect their boundaries.
  • Seek help. If you or an adult loved one is in crisis in Chicago, call the 24-hour Chicago Rape Crisis hotline: 1-888-293-2080. Outside of the metro area, call the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE.
It is also important to be vigilant at events where children are present. Help prevent sexual abuse this time of year by:
  • Keeping the conversation open. Remind the children in your life that no adult should ever ask them to keep a secret – but explain the difference between a secret and a surprise. Be sure children know that they can come to you right away and tell
    you anything without fear of repercussion.
  • Set and respect boundaries. If children do not want to hug, kiss or otherwise show affection for family members, don’t make them. Reinforce these boundaries regularly with your behavior and words to remind children that their bodies are their own.
  • Trust your gut. If something feels off, offer extra support, consult with another adult you trust and, if you suspect abuse, call the child abuse hotline: 1-800-25-ABUSE.

Learn more about preventing child sexual abuse in our resources section, including our free Keeping My Family Safe workbook.

safety-over-the-holidays

During the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to seeing friends and family at various events. But for survivors of child sexual abuse, these get-togethers can be a stressful time of being around their abuser or the loved ones who reacted poorly to disclosures. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Community Advisory Council

Our Community Advisory Council is a group of adults committed to raising awareness of ChicagoCAC and our resources. Together with our staff, they help plan our Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, and they’re already working on our 2017 event. Thanks to these wonderful volunteers for all of their support! Learn more.

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Our Community Advisory Council is a group of adults committed to raising awareness of ChicagoCAC and our resources. Together with our staff, they help plan our Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, and they’re already working on our 2017… Read More

A Message from ATSA

“We need to recognize that, like every other form of violence, child sexual abuse is an avoidable tragedy. We need to ensure that real resources are directed to the thoughtful development, rigorous evaluation, and broad dissemination of effective… Read More

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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

Char on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight

In case you missed it, check out this clip from WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. Executive Director Char Rivette, Catharine Thomann from La Rabida Chicago Child Trauma Center and Mary Jo Barrett from Center for Contextual Change held a great conversation about victims and perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

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In case you missed it, check out this clip from WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. Executive Director Char Rivette, Catharine Thomann from La Rabida Chicago Child Trauma Center and Mary Jo Barrett from Center for Contextual Change held a great conversation about victims and perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

SexualAbuseSpeakOut

We’re thrilled to host Sexual Abuse Speak Out’s fifth anniversary poetry slam, SLAM4SAAM! Join us at the center this Saturday, April 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. to hear powerful performances of experiencing or supporting a loved one in the aftermath of sexual abuse, sexual assault and other traumas. Tickets are $10 at the door, and event proceeds support ChicagoCAC.

ChicagoCAC on ABC 7 Chicago

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Our director of strategic initiatives, Meg, was on ABC 7 Chicago this afternoon discussing the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. It is often years before victims are able to disclose, and these statutes let the clock… Read More

Dennis Hastert accused of sexual abuse by at least 4, sources say

Via Chicago TribuneDennis Hastert accused of sexual abuse by at least 4, sources say. When child sexual abuse is covered in the news, we often see a spike in reports to the child abuse hotline. Ending the silence around abuse means that more adults are equipped to protect children, more children are able to disclose, and more survivors are empowered to speak up. During Child Abuse Prevention Month, please take a few moments to learn how you can prevent child sexual abuse and be there for a child who needs help. Learn more at ChicagoCAC.org/prevent.

Via Chicago Tribune: Dennis Hastert accused of sexual abuse by at least 4, sources say. When child sexual abuse is covered in the news, we often see a spike in reports to the child abuse hotline. Ending the silence around abuse… Read More