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Rep. Unes' legislation to improve treatment for child sex abuse victims heads to Governor's desk

East Peoria Times-Courier - 6/13/2018

Landmark legislation led by State Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to improve access to emergency room treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims cleared the General Assembly.

"The effects of a sexual assault can last a lifetime, particularly when the victim is a child," said Rep. Unes. "Survivors, especially children, deserve specialized care that treats their physical wounds and those that cannot be seen as easily. This legislation is the result of more than a year of negotiations, and I appreciate leadership and advocacy for survivors. I urge the governor to sign this critical legislation."

Access to pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians is extremely limited-particularly in downstate rural areas - and this bill seeks to address that. House Bill 5245 sponsored by State Rep. Mike Unes, will ensure that pediatric sexual assault victims are able to receive timely care from health care professionals who specialize in providing treatment for children victimized by sexual assault.

Throughout this process, Rep. Unes has worked closely with hospitals, law enforcement entities, the Attorney General's office, and local physicians in an effort to carefully craft what promises to be landmark legislation for the entire State of Illinois.

Rep. Unes added, "My goal of this potential new law is to give a voice to the voiceless and ensure that this most vulnerable population is cared for by the most qualified medical professionals."

The House voted unanimously to concur with Rep. Unes' legislation which also passed unanimously by the Senate last week. HB 5245 is now headed to the Governor's desk for his signature to become law.

 
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