SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Victims of sexual assault in Illinois will no longer have a time limit in which to report the crime, thanks to a new law.
As of January 1st, 2020, the statute of limitations for reporting a sexual assault has been removed, but the new law is not retroactive.
That means, if the crime happened before the start of this year, the three year reporting period still applies.
While the effects of the legislation may not be seen for a few years, experts believe it still sends a message.
Carrie Ward, of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, says, “There’s no magic that says for that person, if today is not the day that you make this report, then your chance is gone. What we know now is, at three years and one day, or four years and ten days, or ten years, that person is able to come forward and make this report. They can do it, and that’s just so healing for victims.”
Before the new law went into effect, a person charged with sexual assault had to be prosecuted within ten years of the reported assault.