SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, supported legislation to protect sexual assault victims from being directly questioned by their abusers in court proceedings.
“There is no question of how difficult it is for survivors to relive traumatic experiences while being questioned in court,” Slaughter said. “This legislation will protect survivors from being intimidated by their abusers and prevent additional emotional or mental distress.”
The Slaughter-backed House Bill 3191 will protect survivors by allowing a judge to decide if a defendant representing himself or herself can question a survivor of sexual abuse. Under this legislation, a court can order questioning to be done through appointed counsel or by the judge. The bill allows the defendant to remain in the court room and have the ability to speak with the appointed attorney.
“Those who commit sexual assault should not be allowed to further intimidate and abuse their victims, and they should not have the right to question victims in court if it is disruptive and painful,” said Slaughter. “I will continue to support measures that ensure our legal system protects survivors of sexual assault.”