Responding to Sexual Assault
Improving Response to Sexual Assault Crimes in Illinois
The Attorney General's Office led an effort with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault to pass The Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act in 2016. The Act addresses troubling statistics that show only a fraction of sexual assault victims report crimes to law enforcement authorities. The law was passed to encourage more sexual assault victims to come forward and increase the successful prosecution of sexual assault crimes throughout the state.
The trauma of sexual assault and sexual abuse often leads to severe mental, physical, and economic consequences for the victim. A victim's ability to recover from the trauma of sexual assault or sexual abuse has been directly linked to the response of others to their trauma, particularly the response of law enforcement authorities to a victim who comes forward to report the crime. The response of law enforcement can directly impact a victim's ability to heal as well as his or her willingness to actively participate in an investigation by law enforcement.
Improving the response of the criminal justice system to victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse is critical for the successful identification and prosecution of sexual predators and to prevent offenders from reentering our communities to commit new crimes.
The Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act contains requirements for law enforcement authorities and hospitals to improve their response to victims. Information on the requirements, including specialized training and protocols for handling forensic evidence, is outlined below. For more information, email our Law Enforcement Training contact at Cordelia.Coppleson@ilag.gov
Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Informational Materials
This document outlines the provisions of the Act that must be implemented by law enforcement agencies as of January 1, 2017.
- Mandatory Report Writing
- Additional Responding Officer Responsibilities
- Collecting, Storing and Testing of Sexual Assault Evidence
- Release of Information to the Victim Relating to Evidence Testing
Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Response Policy
Every law enforcement agency shall develop, adopt, and implement written policies regarding procedures for incidents of sexual assault or sexual abuse by January 1, 2018, consistent with guidelines developed by the Office of the Attorney General, in consultation with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board and the Illinois State Police.
Comprehensive Guidelines for Law Enforcement Agency Policies on Responding to and Investigating Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse
- These Comprehensive Guidelines reflect an evidence-based, trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to responding to and investigating sexual assaults and sexual abuse. Agencies' policies must be consistent with these guidelines.
Sample Policy Language for Law Enforcement Agency Policies on Responding to and Investigating Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse
- To assist agencies with the development of a sexual assault and sexual abuse response policy, sample policy language consistent with the Comprehensive Guidelines has been created. Law enforcement agencies are not required to adopt the sample language but may use or modify the language to meet the needs of their officers.
To request these documents in Microsoft Word format, please email Cordelia Coppleson at Cordelia.Coppleson@ilag.gov.
Victim notices to be provided by law enforcement per the Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act:
Mandatory Notice for Survivors of Sexual Assault (P.A. 99-0801 - Form A)
Pursuant to 725 ILCS 203/25(a), at the time of first contact with a victim, a law enforcement officer shall advise the victim of the information on this form, written in a language appropriate for the victim or in Braille, or communicate this information in the appropriate sign language.
Mandatory Notice of Victim's Right to Information Regarding Sexual Assault Evidence (P.A. 99-0801 - Form B)
Pursuant to 725 ILCS 203/35(c), this form must be provided by a law enforcement officer to a victim who has signed a consent form to test evidence at the hospital, either at the hospital or during the investigating officer's follow-up interview. This form must also be provided to a victim who signs a consent form to test sexual assault evidence at the law enforcement agency or with the assistance of a rape crisis advocate.
Storage and Future Testing of Sexual Assault Evidence (P.A. 99-0801 - Form C)
Pursuant to 725 ILCS 203/30(e), this form shall be provided by a law enforcement officer to a victim who has not signed a consent form to test evidence at the hospital, either at the hospital or during the investigating officer’s follow-up interview.
Confirmation of Transfer of Sexual Assault Report to Law Enforcement Agency Having Jurisdiction (P.A. 99-0801 - Form D)
Pursuant to 725 ILCS 203/20(c), a law enforcement agency which receives a report of an incident occurring in another jurisdiction must prepare a written report and send the report to the agency having jurisdiction in person or via fax or email within 24 hours.
Pursuant to 725 ILCS 203/20(d), the law enforcement agency that receives a report from another jurisdiction must confirm receipt in person or via fax or email within 24 hours.
All law enforcement officers must receive evidence-based, trauma-informed, victim-centered training on responding to sexual assault and sexual abuse cases by January 1, 2020. All law enforcement officers must receive in-service training on sexual assault and sexual abuse response and report writing every 3 years.
All law enforcement officers who conduct sexual assault and sexual abuse investigations must have received specialized evidence-based, trauma-informed, victim-centered training on sexual assault and sexual abuse investigations by January 1, 2019. These law enforcement officers must also receive in-service training on sexual assault and sexual abuse investigations every three years.
Information on trainings and training materials will be posted on this page as they become available.
Handling of Sexual Assault Evidence by Hospitals
Public Act 099-0801 amends the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act, 410 ILCS 70/, to change how hospitals handle Illinois State Police Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits and other sexual assault evidence.
Victim notices to be provided by hospitals pursuant to the Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act:
This consent form replaces the form currently found in the Illinois State Police Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits and other evidence. Existing kits may still be used with this consent form.
Hospitals shall provide the original copy of this form to patients receiving a medical forensic exam upon discharge.
- International Association of Chiefs of Police – Police Response to Violence Against Women
- Considerations for Specific Populations and Communities
- End Violence Against Women Online Training Institute
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
- Illinois Sheriff’s Association
- Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board
- Illinois State Police
- Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Resources for Crime Victims
- Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act Treatment Hospitals
- Written Statement of Explanation of Rights for Law Enforcement-Marsy's Rights