Attorney General’s Office Receives Grant to Improve Funding for Victims of Sexual Assault

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 15, 2022 at 10:34am

Attorney General Kwame Raoul highlights a nearly $750,000 federal grant his office received to provide improved services and resources for sexual assault victims.

The Attorney General’s Office says the funding will support Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and sexual assault response teams (SART) in two rural regions within Central Illinois.

The regions were selected due to the presence of a four-year public university, the current availability of SANEs and victim service centers, and the close proximity of multiple hospitals currently servicing victims.

The western collaborative service area includes Adams, Brown, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, and Warren counties. The eastern collaborative service area includes Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Edwards, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, and Wabash counties. 

The grant will also support education to help law enforcement, advocates, prosecutors, and health care providers better support sexual assault victims.

In the western collaborative service area, the grant funding will support the existing SART and allow four counties to be added to the SART and allow the implementation of a 24/7 on-call SANE program for pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients.

The funding will also allow the Attorney General’s office to ensure the same services are provided in the eastern collaborative service area, including the hiring of a SANE leader, establishing a SART, and making sure SANEs are performing medical forensic examinations.

Officials say the goal of the SARTs is to strengthen relationships and collaboration between health care providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and sexual assault crisis center advocates, and to ensure victims of sexual assault receive compassionate services.

Each year, the Illinois SANE Program offers 40-hour Adult/Adolescent SANE training, 40-hour Pediatric/Adolescent SANE training, Advanced SANE training, and one-day Foundation to Provide Sexual Assault Patient Care in the Emergency Room training throughout Illinois. All training is free of charge. For additional information about the SANE Program or to sign up for SANE Training, please visit Raoul’s website.

For information about the rights afforded to survivors of a crime in Illinois, please visit Raoul’s website or call his office’s toll-free Crime Victims’ Assistance Line: 1-800-228-3368 or 1-877-398-1130 (TTY).