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Julie Morrison

CHICAGO – Survivors of rape often don’t seek medical care out of fear a parent or abuser could find out. State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) championed a newly signed law to provide survivors with greater safety and peace of mind.

040722HAO00593“The trauma associated with sexual assault is already profound – the last thing survivors need is the added stress of a lack of privacy and confidentiality,” Morrison said. “This law will allow people to feel more secure in seeking a rape exam.”

Morrison’s law allows sexual assault survivors to access to related health care services free-of-charge for 180 days after their initial medical forensic exam – allowing them to forgo billing their private insurance. Many survivors fear receiving medical help following a sexual assault because they’re worried their insurance policy holder – a parent or spouse, for example – will find out.

Far too often, people in abusive relationships are assaulted by their spouse or guardian, who happens to be the primary insurer. Without a guarantee of confidentiality and fearing insurance records would disclose the exam, many survivors don’t seek assistance.

“Immediate access to medical forensic services is not only key to helping victims of sexual assault and abuse seek justice. Perhaps more importantly, they allow survivors to receive care and access the resources needed to heal physically and emotionally,” Attorney General Raoul said. “I appreciate Sen. Morrison’s efforts in passing this vital legislation that will move Illinois forward in assuring that all survivors have access to the care and support that will help them recover from trauma.”

Senate Bill 3023 was signed into law Thursday.

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