SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca, is battling for the rights of sexual assault survivors by removing the statute of limitations for victims to come forward with their accusations.
“The statute of limitations on prosecution for sexual predators is a weakness in our criminal justice system we have allowed for too long,” Pappas said. “Frequently, survivors of sexual assault are unwilling or unable to come forward about what happened for years. When there is a statute of limitations on prosecuting these criminals, they often end up facing no consequences for their crimes.”
Pappas is supporting House Bill 2135, which removes requirements that victims report sexual assault within three years of the crime being committed. This change is crucial because, due to trauma-induced side effects, targets of sexual assault often have difficulty coming forward immediately after the event.
“Many sexual assault survivors are afraid to speak up, or even blame themselves for what happened,” Pappas said. “This can go on for years before they are able to fully process the events, so, by the time survivors reveal what happened and law enforcement is notified, it is too late to prosecute the perpetrators. Removing this legal roadblock is a huge step towards ensuring survivors of these crimes are able to receive justice for the crime that has been committed against them.”