Success! Every Sexual Assault Survivor in Illinois Will Receive Care From a Trained Provider

Kelsey Bourgeois was shocked to discover that not every nurse is trained to provide care for victims of sexual assault in her home state of Illinois.

But when Bourgeois learned that a pending bill would require hospitals in the state to employ enough Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners — SANE — to treat any victim of sexual assault within 90 minutes of arrival, she decided to create a Care2 petition calling on legislators to pass this proposed legislation.

An investigation by The Chicago Tribune earlier this year found that although there are over 196,000 registered nurses in Illinois, just 32 of these nurses are SANE nurses, certified to treat sexual assault patients. And only 12 are trained in pediatrics.

But thanks to over 51,000 signatures on this Care2 petition and pressure from other public health activists, that will all change.

Success! 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law on August 10; By 2022, hospitals will have to ensure that within 90 minutes of their arrival, victims of sexual assault have access to a sexual assault specialist who is specifically trained to treat them.

If hospitals can’t comply with this requirement, they must transfer patients to a different facility. 

A huge shout-out to Bourgeois and to all the Care2 members who signed her petition demanding qualified treatment for sexual assault survivors.

Republican state representative Mike Unes sponsored this legislation, stating: “This truly does give voice to the voiceless, especially when we’re talking about those in pediatrics who have gone through some senseless and unthinkable trauma.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is equally proud: “This new law will ensure survivors receive the care they deserve to treat the physical and emotional trauma they have endured after a sexual assault.”

Survivors of sexual assault deserve to be treated with the utmost respect after what they have been through. Many survivors are too ashamed or afraid to even report their assault; according to RAINN, only about one in three rapes are even reported to the police. 

The least hospitals can do is to provide excellent care in their emergency rooms. As Bourgeois writes in her petition:

Nurses are in a unique position to make a big difference in the outcome of a sexual assault, and this legislation would require hospitals to help them get the training they need to be effective.

Bourgeois launched her petition as part of Care2’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, and it’s wonderful to see the impact of Care2 members who supported her in achieving this success.

Take Action!

Now you see how Care2 petitions can make a difference, why not start your own petition about an issue that is important to you? Check out these guidelines for how to get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

67 comments

Lindi Smith
Lindi S15 days ago

... next ... the world !

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Ruth S
Ruth S17 days ago

Thanks.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson19 days ago

Nice.

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Leo C
Leo C23 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Nicole H

@ Karen H : I fully agree with you. Automatically, we think rape = women are the victims. This is not the case. Decades ago, we never heard about young men or boys being sexually assaulted. However now, we are certain that this happens even more than we think. And these boys, young men are now in the situation we were in 20/30 years ago. Feeling dirty, ashamed, responsible for what happened...... and there is NO reason for that.
I agree that you don't need to be raped / sexually assaulted yourself to understand how the victims feel. But it helps. Although we do not all react in the same way after having experienced something as awful as that, a person who has been victimized herself/himself before, can more easily understand the feelings the victim is going through. It is the same when people talk f.i. about their divorce, someone who has been married happily for 50 years can more hardly understand the unbalance between sorrow and anger of the divorced person. The same applies f.i. for women who desperately want to have a baby and don't succeed in it, and a woman who wanted 3 children and got pregnant 3 times without difficulties....

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Nicole H

I am so glad for all the girls and women that this is now a law. Being sexually assaulted is one of the worst things that can happen to young girls and even adult women. You feel so disgusted about yourself, so full of guilt because you always think you have done or said anything that triggered this action. And that's NOT TRUE. These men just want to rape you. Nothing else. They don't start a conversation in a cafetaria or bar because they like you, NO, they just want to bond in a certain way so you both leave the establishment and that a few minutes later, they can take advantage of you. Certainly the way we have been treated before by male policemen and their chiefs have left big scars with the victims.. It must be women you can talk to, they must pay enough attention, even to the slightest details, they must help the people to speak up, the whole story, and not be afraid and keep certain things uncovered. There must be enough time to tell your story. When there is a nurse in front of you who is constantly looking on her watch, or doing other nerve wrecking things, you will certainly want to finish your story as soon as possible. And they must be empathic... If you can not put yourself in the place of the victim, the latter will never be at ease..
Female nurses, well educated and patiently, with good listening skills, that's what we need.

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Deborah W
Deborah W24 days ago

CALLING ON LEGISLATORS TO PASS THIS PROPOSAL.
Even after it was found there are over 196,000 registered nurses in Illinois, just 32 of them are SANE nurses, certified to treat sexual assault patients and only 12 of these are trained in pediatrics.

at not every nurse is trained to provide care for victims of sexual assault in her home state of Illinois.
Once these facts were forth, and it was learned that a pending bill would require hospitals in the state to employ ENOUGH Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) to treat ALL victims of sexual assault WITHIN 90 MINUTES of arrival -- whatshe decided to create a Care2 petition calling on legislators to pass this proposed legislation.

An investigation by The Chicago Tribune earlier this year found that although there are over 196,000 registered nurses in Illinois, just 32 of these nurses are SANE nurses, certified to treat sexual assault patients. And only 12 are trained in pediatrics.

But thanks to over 51,000 signatures on this Care2 petition and pressure from other public health activists, that will all change. at not every nurse is trained to provide care for victims of sexual assault in her home state of Illinois.
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But when Bourgeois learned that a pending bill would require hospitals in the state to employ enough Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners — SANE — to treat any victim of sexual assault within 90 minutes of arrival, she

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Janis K
Janis K25 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Winn A
Winn A25 days ago

Thanks

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Winn Adams
Winn A25 days ago

Noted

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