Stopping Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Individuals victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault struggle to protect themselves and escape from their abusers.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan knows that patterns of abusive behavior can start during a person’s teenage years, and she has implemented teen dating violence education programs to help ensure that young men and women avoid abusive behaviors and relationships. The Attorney General is committed to ending the cycle of violence by encouraging communities, families and educators to get involved in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse.

Attorney General Madigan believes that victims of sexual assault, already traumatized by the attack, should not be further victimized by the criminal justice system. She has championed legislation to eliminate the statutes of limitations for sex crimes against children, passed legislation to require Illinois colleges and universities to respond to sexual violence on campus, protect survivors’ rights and provide a fair and balanced process to address complaints. She successfully advocated to amend the Illinois Constitution to strengthen the rights of crime victims, championed tougher sanctions against sexual predators and launched a statewide initiative to remove violent criminals from nursing homes.

In 2010, when Lisa Madigan found out that thousands of rape kits across Illinois were never sent to state crime labs by local law enforcement officials, she drafted and worked with legislators to pass a groundbreaking law that requires sexual assault evidence kits be submitted to crime labs within ten days.  This is the first state law of its kind in the country.

Victims of sexual assault deserve compassion and respect when they come forward to report an assault. That’s why Attorney General Lisa Madigan expanded the Illinois Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program to train more registered nurses to care compassionately for sexual assault survivors in emergency room settings, to thoroughly collect evidence and to work effectively with law enforcement.

With the goal of finding felons that were released from prison or jail without submitting a DNA sample, as required by the 2002 All Felons DNA Law, Attorney General Lisa Madigan launched an initiative with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to track down these felons and collect their DNA. DNA is a critical tool in resolving unsolved crimes.

Individuals at risk of domestic violence rely upon orders of protection as a legal means to keep them safe. When Attorney General Madigan discovered a large backlog of unserved orders of protection, she launched “Operation Serve to Protect,” a partnership with local law enforcement to decrease the backlog and protect potential victims from harm. This effort has significantly reduced the backlog of unserved orders.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan continues to fight to protect individuals from domestic violence and sexual assault.

Michelle Young