Sexual assault is a prevalent problem in Illinois. Statewide rape crisis centers offered services to over 37,000 victims of sexual violence over a five-year period, according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Sexual assault can happen to you or someone close to you. If you need trustworthy resources for help as a sexual assault victim, start here.
Sexual assault advocates are people or organizations that help victims find hope and healing. Advocates guide victims to other resources that can help them navigate complicated criminal, civil, and social systems. Most Illinois advocacy centers offer 24-hour hotlines, confidential counseling, and interventions.
- Resilience. A Chicagoland area advocacy group offering help and support to victims of sexual assault. It has the phone number for the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline (888-293-2080), as well as RAINN’s hotline (800-656-HOPE). It offers local programs, services, and events to help those in need of support. Resilience is a good option if you are seeking medical advocacy.
- Life Span. Life Span provides comprehensive support and advocacy services to women and children victims of sexual violence. It offers a range of support options, including advocacy and counseling. If you need advice, information, court advocacy, or immigration services, Life Span can help. You can reach Life Span at (312) 408-1210.
Counseling is an important part of the healing process post-sexual assault. Sexual assault survivors often bear their emotional burdens for years. Seeking individual or group counseling with a professional can help you cope with your trauma, recognize triggers, and achieve long-term healing.
- In The Wildflowers. A sexual abuse support group located in Naperville, Illinois. It helps participants heal from childhood sexual abuse and related trauma. Call Julie Woodley at (631) 837-2047 for more information.
- Sexual Trauma Survivors’ Group. A counseling group for female survivors of sexual trauma. It incorporates a few different counseling techniques and interventions, as appropriate, to cope with traumatic symptoms. Call (872) 213-7966 if you are interested in joining.
- YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. The YWCA offers professional counselors for survivors of sexual violence and family members. Men, women, and children (ages three and older) are welcome to seek counseling from the YWCA. Methods include talk therapy, art therapy, play therapy, dance movement therapy, and tray therapy. Its phone number for potential clients is (866) 525-YWCA.
Sexual assault outreach brings community members together to better understand and be aware of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Outreach programs help victims feel less alone during difficult times.
- Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA). An outreach group with a network of 30 community-based crisis centers you can visit or contact throughout the state. The ICASA offers 24-hour intervention services, sexual assault counseling, and community education programs. Call (217) 753-4117.
Community education broaches the subject of sexual assault so victims do not have to feel ashamed or hide their traumas. Community education centers exist throughout the state of Illinois through the ICASA’s Sexual Assault Prevent Program. Other options also exist near you.
- SAFE (Sexual Assault & Family Emergencies). SAFE offers sexual assault prevention programs and education for all ages. It partners with Illinois Imagines for course for people with special needs. SAFE has educational courses for bullying, dating violence, body safety, human trafficking, consent, and more. Call (618) 699-4031 for more details.
Sexual assault prevention begins with education. Sexual violence prevention programs in Illinois exist to spread awareness, educate people at early ages, and ultimately help eliminate sexual assault and abuse cases.
- ICARE. The ICARE program at the University of Illinois provides bystander intervention training through the Women’s Resources Center. ICARE is a 90-minute workshop in which students can recognize sexually disrespectful behavior and learn how to speak up. UI also offers annual sexual assault prevention training for undergrads and graduate students.
Justice (Civil and Criminal)
Sexual assault is a crime as much as it is a social problem. As a victim, you may become part of a criminal lawsuit against your perpetrator. At the same time, you and your family could pursue financial compensation through a civil lawsuit in Illinois. Use the following resources for assistance with both.
- Illinois State Police. Call 911 to report an emergency sexual assault case to local police. The non-emergency line can also help you get information about a pending criminal case. Call the Chicago headquarters at (847) 294-4400.
- Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. A state agency that can help the public address sexual assault issues. You can learn about the Illinois criminal justice system, as well as access tools to help you understand what to expect during the case against your sexual assault perpetrator. Use the website for resources or call (312) 793-8550.
- Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. Our personal injury law firm specializes in sexual assault civil law. We can provide effective, comprehensive counseling for free at our Chicago location. We may then be able to represent you during a civil case against the perpetrator, a school, your employer, and/or other parties in pursuit of damage recovery. Call (888) 424-5757 today to discuss your case with an attorney.