New Illinois Legislation Meant to Help Sexual Assault Victims
Senate Bill 3096 was recently sent to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for his signature. This bill is meant to improve the response to sexual assault crimes and encourage more victims of sexual assault to come forward. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan supports this legislation.
This bill will make many changes to improve the response to these particular crimes, including:
- Regardless of where the crime occurred or who reported it, all law enforcement officers will be required to complete written reports of every sexual assault complaint.
- All officers, first responders, and 911 operators will be required to complete training on how to appropriately respond to a victim.
- Sexual assault survivors will be able to request updates on the status of the testing of their sexual assault evidence. Illinois State Police will be required to respond to status requests unless doing so would compromise or impede an ongoing investigation.
- Sexual assault evidence must be kept up to five years.
- No victims may be interviewed until they have had at least two sleep cycles since the crime took place.
Training has already begun at the Macomb Police Department and the Office of Public Safety at Western Illinois University.
Scott Harris, Director of Public Safety at WIU, said he sent two of his women officers to a program to receive training.
"We were only able to send two of our officers, so as the state develops a training curriculum and puts it out, then we will roll it out to other officers," he said.
Harris said the OPS office works a lot with the Macomb PD. Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said he sent his department's investigator to the training.