ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – State Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, is advancing legislation to strengthen Illinois’ definition of consent, removing one barrier for survivors of sexual assault to seek justice.
“There are still too many in our society that believe a survivor of sexual assault may somehow be responsible for their assault,” Walker added. “The person responsible for sexual assault is the rapist. Our laws should ensure a survivor can seek justice and know our criminal justice system believes them and stands with them. My bill may be simple, but it will go a long way in ensuring more rapists will face the justice they deserve.”
Currently, Illinois statute provides that one is unable to give consent if a rapist administers any drugs or alcohol that cause the victim to become unconscious and the offender was reasonably aware of their condition. Walker’s legislation, House Bill 5441, would add language to the definition of “unable to give knowing consent” specifying one cannot give consent if they are too intoxicated due to voluntary consumption.
House Bill 5441 recently passed out of committee with a unanimous vote and awaits further action on the House floor.