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ChicagoCAC 2021 Spring Legislative Priorities: Success!

We’re delighted that so many of our legislative priorities succeeded in the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session! Thank you to all of our legislators who sponsored and supported these bills and our coalition partners who helped create these soon-to-be laws and spread the word to their networks about them, including Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Equality Illinois, Resilience, IL Raise Your Hand, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, The Network – Advocating Against Domestic Violence, Life Span, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, and many more!

HB3461 – Enhancements to Erin’s Law: The MAKE SAFE Task Force Report, released by the Illinois State Board of Education in September 2020, called for much-needed improvements to how schools approach educating students, staff and families about preventing sexual misconduct. This bill will strengthen the current version of Erin’s Law to require evidence-informed sexual abuse prevention education in grades K-12 as well as training for school staff, and that comprehensive prevention information be provided to students’ families.

HB3462 – Right to a forensic interview for child victims: This bill provides that every child reported to the Department of Children and Family Services or law enforcement as a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse has a right to a forensic interview conducted by a children’s advocacy center.

HB3223 – Ensuring Success in Schools Law (ESSL): This bill requires schools to provide support and accommodations for survivors of sexual and domestic violence who are K-12 students in Illinois schools. This bill could improve the educational experience of girls of color, who are disproportionately impacted by trauma, adversity, and abuse. 

SR58 – Pediatric Sexual Assault Evidence Collection: This resolution creates the Child Sexual and Physical Abuse Task Force to investigate, assess, and make recommendations on the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA) and its implementation to ensure that child development and children’s medical needs are addressed in medical responses to child sexual abuse.  

SB818 – Keep Youth Safe And Healthy Act: This bill implements personal health and safety education for K-12 public schools in Illinois. This includes educating younger students about body safety and requiring the Illinois State Board of Education to create inclusive sexual health education standards.

SB 2339 – Strengthens the Privacy of Child Victims of Criminal Sexual Offenses Act: Over the past year, CBS Chicago has had ongoing investigative reports about the personal information of child sexual abuse survivors not being properly restricted by the previous Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office. Our executive director Char Rivette testified before the Illinois House Judiciary Committee in support of this bill that restricts availability of that information to authorized individuals. We’d like to thank current Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Iris Y. Martinez, State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, and State Representative Kelly Cassidy for their support of this bill and their efforts to protect survivors from further harm. 

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