SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination would be shielded from weaponized defamation lawsuits under a bill sponsored by state Rep. Mary Beth Canty, D-Arlington Heights.
“Speaking out against sexual assault or abuse is a daunting task, and those who bravely share their stories should not have to face legal challenges meant to punish them for choosing to come forward,” Canty said. “When we empower survivors to expose wrongdoing, we can prevent future harm and protect others from sexual misconduct.”
House Bill 2836, also known as the Right to Speak Your Truth Act, prohibits a person accused of sexual misconduct from using a defamation action to silence or retaliate against an accuser, staff, or third party reporting on the matter. The bill mirrors California’s Assembly Bill 933, which passed the State Assembly Thursday morning.
“My contemporaries in California are sending a clear message that the court system can no longer be used as a weapon to silence survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination. Illinois can and should do the same,” Canty said. “We must stand up for these brave individuals and protect them from further harm during their most vulnerable moments.”
For more information on Canty’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov.