To: The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor J.B. Pritzker
Illinois General Assembly Members and Governor
State of Illinois Legislators Should Amend State Laws to Better Protect Children and Youth from Institutional Abuse.
Why is this important?
This petition seeks to extend the statute of limitations in regards to criminal and civil offenses against children. In addition, this petition seeks to amend Illinois child abuse and abandonment definitions to better protect children from institutional abuse.
As a survivor of institutional abuse and child advocate, I believe these changes are necessary to better protect children from abuse in Illinois.
Illinois should include kidnapping and sexual assault/abuse of children in list of offenses with no statute of limitations.
Illinois legislators should amend Illinois Code 720 ILCS 5/3-5; 5/3-7 to include sexual assault/rape/abuse of children and kidnapping in the list of offenses having no Statute of Limitations.
Alaska provides one example of a State that includes kidnapping, rape, and sexual abuse in the list of offenses that have no Statute of Limitations for prosecution. (Source: ALASKA STAT. § 12.10.010)
Illinois legislators should amend Illinois code (735 ILCS 5/13-202.2) to extend the Statute of Limitations for child victims to file suit upon reaching age of majority. Child victims should be given 20 years from time of serious psychological and/or physical injury (in addition to sexual abuse which already has a 20 year statute of limitations for filing civil suit in IL) or 15 years upon reaching age of majority to file a tort claim against the tortfeasor.
Alternatives to the above extension of time to file a claim for injured minors include judicial system providing accessible and competent attorneys required to represent minors on a contingency basis with no fees due unless case is won and amount to be paid to attorney may not exceed 50% of the damages and 50% total must include all attorney fees and expenses.
In addition, Illinois legislators should revise its child abuse statutory definitions to include the following:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.21 (New Jersey Statutory Definition)
Abused child or abused or neglected child means a child under age 18 years who is in an institution, and:
· Has been placed there inappropriately for a continued period of time with the knowledge that the placement has resulted or may continue to result in harm to the child's mental or physical well-being
· Who has been willfully isolated from ordinary social contact under circumstances that indicate emotional or social deprivation
The definitions and laws pertaining to child abuse and/or endangering the welfare of a child in Illinois are found in Illinois Code 325 ILCS 5/. Please amend Illinois' laws to include the above definitions as applied under our Child Endangerment, Child Welfare, and Child Abuse laws.
In addition, Illinois legislators should amend to include the following definition of Abandonment to Illinois' Child Endangerment Laws at 325 ILCS 5/ defined as in the following Kansas Statute:
Kansas § 38-2202. Definitions. “As used in the revised Kansas code for care of children, unless the context otherwise indicates: "Abandon" or "abandonment" means to forsake, desert or, (a) without making appropriate provision for substitute care, cease providing care for the child.”
Illinois legislators should be sure to specify that “appropriate provision for substitute care” be limited to the least restrictive environment within the child’s community of residence and/or within the State of Illinois if institutionalization is required.