GURNEE, Ill. – A measure championed by state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, to better protect stalking victims from online harassment was approved by the House on Wednesday. The bill now goes to Gov. JB Pritzker for final approval.
“As someone who has spent years working with victims and survivors of domestic violence, I understand how important it is to make sure we have robust laws in place to protect individuals from stalking,” Mason said. “While a great deal of our day-to-day communication now happens online, our current statutes that allow stalking victims to file no-contact orders don’t mention electronic communication. That means a victim isn’t always guaranteed to have legal protection from online harassment even after filing a no-contact order.”
Mason is the chief House sponsor of Senate Bill 1677, legislation that amends the state’s Stalking No Contact Order Act to include electronic communication as a type of contact that is banned under a no-contact order. Under existing law, a judge granting a no-contact order may choose to add online or electronic communication as a type of contact prohibited under an order, but they are not required to do so.
Mason is a longtime advocate for survivors and victims of domestic abuse. Mason serves on the board of A Safe Place, a nonprofit domestic violence shelter in her district. She is also the co-chair of the Northwest Suburban Alliance on Domestic Violence.
“It is vital that stalking victims are able to be protected from unwanted contact in every area of life, not just in interactions that take place offline,” Mason said. “If signed into law, this legislation will allow more victims of stalking to experience long overdue freedom and security in their time spent online.”
Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031