SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is fighting to improve care for young survivors of sexual assault by sponsoring legislation giving more pediatricians the ability to treat survivors under the age of 13.
“It is horrifying to think about the trauma a child endures after a sexual assault,” Manley said. “This situation can be made worse when a survivor has to go to a hospital, likely a place they haven’t been before and be treated by doctors and nurses they don’t know. This legislation would allow guardians to take a child to an approved pediatrician’s office to have these services provided.”
Under current law, hospitals licensed under the Department of Public Health are the only facilities that provide services to sexual assault survivors. Manley’s House Bill 5245 would change this by allowing department to certify pediatric health care facilities to provide these same services to survivors under the age of 13. This legislation was an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
“These changes would mean that some children who have been sexually assaulted might even be able be treated by a trusted pediatrician, a familiar face, and avoid an intimidating hospital emergency room,” Manley said. “This legislation goes a long way to help provide children and their guardians with a more comforting environment during a horrific time.”