Consideration for victims of Sexual Assault.
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Victims of sexual assault have suffered tremendously. They rarely report their assault because of fear, stigma, lack of education, lack of support, and lack of Justice.
After reporting my sexual assualt while still within the Illinois Statute of limitations I found out first hand why many don't report or soon drop their case after reporting.
First victims must tell officers and sometimes doctors exactly what happened to file a report. Then they have to go over the details again with the State's Attorney's office if they want a chance of Justice. They are then told it could take months maybe a year to make a decision on whether it can be prosecuted. Then if they want to have protection from the person who sexually assaulted them, they have to petition for an order of protection.
To do this after filling out paperwork they have to go over the details of their assault in front of not only a judge, but also other citizens petitioning for orders of protection. There is no separation.
The chances of getting an order of protection are slim because the petitionor has the burder of proof and it is very hard to prove rape. So there is very little legal protection for sexual assault survivors, adding to the fear of retaliation.
Then if they deny the emergency order of protection the victim has to go to court sometimes multiple times for a plenary hearing for an order of protection. At which time the survivor of sexual assault has to go over the details of the assault again with no separation between citizens petitioning and objecting to orders of protection.
They can be harrassed, threatened, and intimidated by their rapist and unless they have evidence such as camera proof no legal protection is afforded to them.
If they actually survive this tramatic experience they might then get their chance at court for the actual sexual assault. The chances are slim though. Very few rape cases ever see the inside of the courtroom but that is another issue.
The problem is before the victim even makes it to the courts for the assault. We need to make it easier for victims to report rapes.
It starts with not making them explain everything to a courtroom full of people just to attempt to get an order of protection.
It starts with not having a judge say you can't get an order of protection until you prove he raped you since the burden of proof in sexual assault is much higher.
It starts with not being forced to sit less than three feet away from the man who brutally raped you while trying to get protection against him.
We need to have a law in the State of Illinois making sexual assault cases a different class of Orders of Protection under such they should be heard on a single case basis so the victim is not forced to tell a room full of the public the details of their assault. It is also imperative that those who have been assaulted are able to get a temporary order of protection until the assault case is closed. Nobody should have to be forced to sit next to the person that assaulted them. It should be madated that an advocate should be allowed to divide the parties.
Please help me fight for the survivors of sexual assault so they don't become just another statistic. Thank you!
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