A recently signed law requires Illinois’ colleges to not only take action to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus, but to develop policies that will help them better respond to sexual assault incidents.
Though many colleges and universities already have sexual assault procedures in place, the new law will institute uniform requirements for state schools. The law institutes specific guidelines that ensure all college students in Illinois have access to much-needed assistance and schools are better prepared to respond to sexual assault allegations.
Now sexual assault victims at all Illinois colleges will have access to a confidential adviser who can provide them with support and counseling. The new law also requires institutions to notify victims of all options that are available to them in order to protect their safety. This would include making victims aware of on-campus and community resources, such as information on how to obtain orders of protection and medical and counseling services, altering class schedules or changing their campus living arrangement.
Additionally, institutions must adopt policies to deal with allegations of sexual violence, and take steps to train students and employees on how to prevent violence on campus.
Universities will be required to submit a yearly report to the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Human Rights that outlines their training sessions, incident reports and other requirements.