rape crisis ctr 082321CHICAGO – Many additional organizations that provide rape crisis services will be able to receive state recognition after legislation sponsored by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) was signed Friday. Simmons says the new law will facilitate quick access to critical resources for survivors.

“The current definition of rape crisis center is too narrow and excludes a lot of great organizations,” Simmons said. “Organizations that share locations with other services or that provide rape crisis in tandem with other services can’t get the necessary certification, which severely limits their ability to provide help to the people who need it.”

The legislation, House Bill 3265, updates the state’s definition of “rape crisis organization” to include rape crisis centers certified by a statewide sexual assault coalition. It also changes the definition, so rape crisis organizations with other co-located programs can still be considered rape crisis organizations under the law. Certification allows organizations to provide confidential services.

“This new law corrects a major problem and ensures that we’re able to quickly deliver a crucial service,” Simmons said.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.