House Bill 3582 will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new bill extends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) of Illinois to help more survivors of violent crime with economic security and safety.
Victims and families of victims of violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and gender violence, are now covered by the Act’s provisions. The revised definition broadens the meaning of “household or family member” even more, leaving it up to the employee to assess whether or not a person falls within this category.
On July 1, 2025, House Bill 3223 will take effect. The bill includes a variety of new trauma-informed assistance and protection provisions for K-12 children, parents, and pregnant parents who have experienced sexual assault or gender-based violence.
Through a series of provisions, the law aims to ensure that kids of all ages can continue in school, stay safe, and finish their education, including:(1) at least 1 trained staff in school to handle domestic/sexual violence, (2)trained professionals to keep confidential information from trauma survivors, (3)adds that situations relating to expectant parents, parents, or victims of domestic or sexual violence are justifiable reasons for missing class, (4)establishes the Success in School Task Force to develop and revise survivor-centered, trauma-informed policies and procedures to support all students who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and (5) requires school districts to evaluate all existing policies and procedures and amend any that obstruct students’ progress, particularly those who are pregnant or parents, or victims of domestic or sexual assault.
House Bill 3485 will take effect on July 1, 2022. The Illinois Supreme Court can now adopt a Hope Card scheme for petitioners seeking a plenary order of protection. Illinois currently lacks a Hope Card program, which allows survivors of domestic violence to display important protection order information on a compact and easy-to-read card.
House Bill 3317 takes effect immediately. Colton’s Taskforce (Domestic Violence Taskforce Act) will conduct a complete evaluation of the state’s domestic violence laws’ processes, operations, and enforcement, identify deficiencies, and offer suggestions to protect victims and survivors while holding perpetrators accountable.
SB 685 takes effect immediately. The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission will be established in Illinois under the Illinois Criminal Information Authority (“ICJIA”) with the purpose of minimizing domestic violence fatalities. It also tries to overcome inconsistencies in how systems engage with victims, survivors, and perpetrators. The statewide committee of 20 members will meet at least once a quarter and submit a biannual report to the General Assembly.
SB 920 takes effect immediately. It establishes the Illinois Forensic Science Commission. The Illinois State Police and the Governor’s Task Force on Forensic Science have recommended that the commission incorporate the voices of victims of crime and other stakeholders in the judicial system.