SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing her efforts to advocate for sexual assault survivors, state Rep. Diane Pappas, D-Itasca, fought to permit survivors with warrants of arrest for non-violent offenses to seek medical treatment and report incidents of assault to law enforcement without fear of prosecution.
“If we want to put an end to sexual assault, we need to create an environment where survivors feel safe going to the authorities under any circumstance,” Pappas said. “When survivors are afraid to report their experiences, assaulters will go unchecked, and potentially continue their behavior. By ensuring that more victims come forward, we are also ensuring that more sexual assaulters are found, prosecuted and taken off the streets. I’m grateful that Governor Pritzker joined us in this fight and signed this critical legislation into law.”
Pappas helped pass House Bill 92 to empower survivors to report instances of assault. If the survivor has an outstanding warrant, law enforcement is required only to issue the victim a notice to appear in court. This exemption does not apply to victims who have a warrant for a violent crime or forcible felony. Gov. Pritzker recently signed this bill into law.
“HB 92 is a crucial step forward for victims reporting sexual assault,” said Carrie Ward, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Victims should not face the potential of being arrested as a result of reporting rape. This victim-centered legislation will help propel Illinois forward in its efforts to prosecute rapists and secure justice for rape survivors.”