Bruce Rauner, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 About Illinois

Stay Informed

Your Government

Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General

 IGNN: State/All Press Release

The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.

September 10, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to allow rape victims more time to file civil lawsuits
HB 1462 suspends the two-year statute of limitations to file civil action if the victim is being threatened or intimidated

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that gives sexual assault and rape victims more time to file civil lawsuits against their perpetrator.  House Bill 1462 suspends the current two-year statute of limitations in the state of Illinois if the victim is threatened, intimidated or manipulated by the perpetrator or another person acting in the perpetrator’s interest.
“Rape victims should have all the time they need under the law to bring civil charges against their attackers and to seek justice and compensation. And just as importantly, this law will help deter perpetrators from harassing their victims to keep them from bringing a civil suit,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
HB 1462, sponsored by State Representative Careen Gordon (D-Coal City) and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), is loosely based on an existing state law protecting child victims of sexual assault by suspending the statute of limitations when the child is threatened or intimidated by the perpetrator.
“Intimidation and like behavior is all too common in rape cases and we feel that this new law is a step in the right direction that will help victims get relief through the court system,” said Lyn Schollett, General Counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
The legislation, an initiative of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA), is in response to the case of a rape victim who was unable to come forward for nearly two decades after her alleged rapist threatened her life.  Although she lost her lawsuit, she argued that her diagnosis of Graves’ disease in 2003, which her doctor attributed to rape trauma, reset the two-year statute of limitations for civil relief.  According to ICASA, this case is a tangible example showing that the current law does not work for sexual assault and rape victims.
Proponents of the new law, including Northwest Center for Sexual Assault, Call for Help, Inc, and Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies, hope the bill will deter perpetrators from harassing victims to keep them from filing suit.  The law only applies to cases arising on or after the effective date or for which the limitation period has not expired.
HB 1462 becomes effective January 1, 2008.


News Categories

 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Economic Development
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 Opportunity Returns

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement


Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2017 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us