RAINN Policy Team joins Illinois AG to Spur Effort Against Campus Assaults

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan portrait with American flag Illinois isn’t waiting for Congress to pass campus sexual assault legislation. The state’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, is taking matters into her own hands to protect students at schools across the state.

Madigan has positioned Illinois as a leading voice on the issue of campus sexual violence. Having already created a statewide task force to improve evidence collection, investigation and sexual assault prosecution, the attorney general continued her efforts by hosting three summits throughout the state. Each summit addressed campus sexual violence and brought together campus administrators, survivors and advocacy leaders.

Members of RAINN’s policy team participated in two of the summits. Speaking on the Strategies and Best Practices for Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Responses panel, RAINN’s vice president of public policy, Rebecca O’Connor, and RAINN’s policy attorney, Patrick Fergusson, emphasized the need to empower survivors and campus communities, and to unite stakeholders in a collaborative fight against sexual violence. They also spoke to the more than 150 stakeholders about the importance of removing reporting barriers and of encouraging survivors to come forward to seek support.

At the summit at Illinois State University, Madigan spoke to the seriousness of the issue. “It is clear that the number of incidents involving sexual violence is still frighteningly high, and many survivors feel that the response of institutions is lacking,” she said. “Colleges and universities have a legal and moral obligation to respond effectively and investigate allegations to the fullest extent of the law. We must make sure that every student of higher education in Illinois is provided a safe environment to learn.”

Legislators in Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, and Connecticut have also been busy addressing campus sexual assault issues.

Be part of the solution: Visit RAINN's Action Center and sign up to keep informed about RAINN’s work to address sexual violence on college campuses, as well as other key policy issues.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org.

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