Raoul seeks stronger protections for sexual assault survivors

raoul 030118SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) introduced legislation today that provides additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse.  

Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

In drafting the legislation, Raoul worked closely with Rise, a national civil rights nonprofit that worked with Congress to pass a federal Survivors’ Bill of Rights in 2016. The organization is working to create legislation in every state to protect the estimated 25 million survivors of sexual assault.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to provide resources for those who have suffered trauma related to sexual assault,” Raoul said. “We need survivors to know that their basic civil rights will be protected when they report this crime.”

The measure puts several protections for victims of sexual assault or abuse in place, including:

  • allowing them to shower at the hospital post-examination;
  • allowing them to obtain a copy of the police report relating to the incident;
  • allowing them to have a sexual assault advocate and a support person of their choosing present for medical and physical examinations;
  • allowing them to retain their own counsel; and
  • prohibiting law enforcement from prosecuting the victim for a crime related to use of alcohol, cannabis or a controlled substance based on the sexual assault forensic evidence collected.

Currently, nine states have passed laws that are consistent with the federal recommendations.

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Senator Kwame Raoul

13th District

Years served: 2004 - 2018

Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Committee on Restorative Justice (Co-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; has two children.