Monday, January 27, 2020

Shout Out to 2019 IMPACT Chicago Volunteers

Thank you to all the volunteers who contribute to IMPACT Chicago: Admin Team, Board Members, Class Assistants, Instructor out-of-class time, Social Media, What is IMPACT facilitators, and so much more! Below are the many people who have volunteered for IMPACT in 2019. If we have inadvertently left you off the list, please let us know.
Admin Team
Lisa Amoroso
Tara Brinkman*
AC Christensen
Laura Dini*
Kathleen Williamsen*
Amy Harmon*
Mindy Hilt*
Rehana Manejwala
Katie Skibbe
Martha Thompson

Janette Scott, outgoing chair
Lisa Amoroso
Bruce Brio
Sheila Hickey
Deb Mier
Robin Mina
Katie Skibbe
Martha Thompson
Incoming board members
Tara Brinkman
Denise Loyd

Class Assistants
Allison O'Neill
Amy E. Harmon
Bianka Hardin
Cameron Schwartz
Courtney Henderson
Dana Dunham
Deb Mier
Elizabeth West
Janette Scott
Kristen Reid
Madison Rieck
Maureen D. Barradas
Meghan Hammond
Michelle Trudel
Priya Nelson
Rehana Manejwala
Robin Mina
Tania Schusler
Veronica Silva

Rob Babcock*
Joe Bianco
Bruce Brio (retired)
AC Christensen*
Dominic Conti
Katie Skibbe*
Rachel Marro*
Mark Nessel*
Ben Ruiz*
Martha Thompson*
Margaret Vimont*
Nat Wilson*

Social Media
Arden Austin
Dana Dunham
Rachel Marro
Kim Ruhana
Maple Walker
Martha Thompson

What is IMPACT & Other
Araida Servellon
Becky Tupper
Chloe Pooler
Claire Anderson-Ramos
Ellyn Bank
Emilia Donenberg Smith
Hayley Beck
Maple Walker
Sarah Steinbach

Amy Harmon*
Lisa Amoroso
Nate Tracy-Amoroso

Workshop Leaders
Lisa Amoroso
Tara Brinkman*
Amy Harmon
Rachel Marro*
Deb Mier*
Priya Nelson
Katie Skibbe*
Martha Thompson, Trainer*
Michele Trudel
Margaret Vimont*
*Paid part-time staff who also volunteer

Monday, January 20, 2020

Revenge Porn is Illegal

Revenge porn has become a growing problem over the last several years. Photos that were once consensually sent within a relationship are then shared without permission from the sender, after a breakup to blackmail or seek revenge. Since 2014, revenge porn has been a criminal offense in the state of Illinois. 

Revenge porn is a class 4 felony (18 and up) with potential hefty fines and up to 2 ½ years probation. Victims can file civil suits for damages resulting in the offender paying hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If the victim is under the age of 18, the offender could face child pornography charges even if the offender received the photos during a romantic relationship. Anyone charged with this offense is required to be on the sex offender registry, along with high fines and prison time.
Maple Joy

#ImpactChicago #RevengePorn #IllinoisStateLaw  

Monday, January 13, 2020

Chalk Back: Challenging Street Harassment

To end street harassment, communities need to raise awareness and take action. Two current initiatives include:

An approach to raise awareness about street harassment: women around the world are chalking a catcall on the street where the catcall happened.

CASS (Collective Action for Safe Space), the city of Washington D.C.has developed a STOP campaign, identifying what witnesses of harassment can do.

Sidetrack--detract the perpetrator

Tell--text to report the incident

Observe--take notes and report

Postpone--after the incident, offer support

Monday, January 6, 2020

2020 New Illinois Laws Addressing Sexual Violence

New laws on consent, domestic violence, orders of protection, revenge porn, sexual aggression, sexual assault, sexual crimes, sexual harassment, and stalking went into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2020.

ELIMINATES STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES Public Act 101-130, House Bill 2135 Removes the statute of limitation for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse regardless of the age of the victim.

INCLUDING “CONSENT” IN SEX EDUCATION CONTENT Public Act 101-579, House Bill 3550 This legislation requires that course material and instruction in sex education for students in grades 6-12 must include an age-appropriate discussion on the meaning of consent to sexual activity. Under current law, students are not required to participate in sex education class, if the student’s parent or guardian objects to the class in writing so a student will only be subject to these new requirements if they take the sex education course.

PROTECTIONS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT Public Act 101-221, Senate Bill 75 Hotels and casinos must adopt anti-sexual harassment policies and make the utilization of a safety device available to employees. The law prohibits retaliation against an employee for using a safety device or making use of the protections of the anti-sexual harassment policy. The act limits the terms of employment agreements that restrict specified employee rights with respect to allegations of unlawful conduct. It further requires units of local government to add language to their sexual harassment policies including how to report allegations of sexual harassment by one elected official against another. The Department of Human Rights (DHR) must adopt a model sexual harassment training prevention clause.

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS Public Act 101-529, Senate Bill 218 Sexual crimes such as predatory criminal sexual assault, sexual conduct by the use of force, criminal sexual assault, among others are added to the list of convictions of the parent requiring DCFS to request that the State’s Attorney file a petition or motion for termination of parental rights. The law adds sexual crimes to the presumption a parent is depraved and unfit for adopting.

PROTECTING THE IDENTITY/LOCATION OF ABUSE VICTIMS Public Act 101-211, Senate Bill 399 This legislation seeks to protect the privacy of domestic violence victims. It specifies that if a party states in the pleading or the affidavit that disclosure of an address would risk abuse or harm to the party or a family member, the address may be omitted from documents filed with the court. Under this bill, a party is not required to include in the pleading or affidavit a domestic violence safe house address or an address changed as a result of a protective order.

ADDRESSING SEXUALLY AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR BY INMATES Public Act 101-401, Senate Bill 416 A defendant being found guilty of an administrative infraction related to an act or acts of public indecency or sexual misconduct in a penal institution shall be considered a factor in aggravation in sentencing.

LEGAL RELIEF FOR VICTIMS OF ‘REVENGE PORN’ Public Act 101-556, Senate Bill 1507 When private sexual images are distributed without the depicted individual’s permission, the depicted individual may now sue the distributor for damages if the depicted person suffers harm from intentional dissemination of private sexual images without the depicted individual’s consent. Victims of ‘revenge porn’ may now sue for damages and use a pseudonym or the court may exclude or redact the plaintiff’s name and other identifying characteristics from all pleadings and documents filed.

EDUCATING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ON WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS Public Act 101-347, Senate Bill 1694 High schools may include in their curriculum a unit of instruction on workplace preparation that covers legal protections in the workplace, including but not limited to topics such as protection against sexual harassment and racial and other forms of discrimination. Local school boards may determine the minimum amount of instruction time.

INCLUDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE SCHOOL CODE Public Act 101-630, Senate Bill 1798 Each school district must create, maintain, and implement an age-appropriate policy on sexual harassment that must be posted on the school district’s website and included in the district’s student code of conduct handbook. 

DELAYING PUBLIC NOTICE OF ORDERS OF PROTECTION TO PROTECT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE Public Act 101-255, House Bill 2309 When a judge grants an emergency stalking no contact order, a civil no contact order, or an emergency order of protection, the petition will not be publicly available until the petition is served on the accused individual. The change is designed to discourage respondents from contacting their petitioner from the moment any such order is granted.

PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF HOME-BASED BUSINESS OWNERS Public Act 101-475, House Bill 2528 Victims of stalking and petitioners for an order of protection who operate a home-based business have a new protection in state law to shield their privacy, as this new law provides that a person operating a business under an assumed name at his or her personal residence may list the address of their local county clerk as the default agent for service of process to meet the publication requirements, if specific conditions are met. The law was inspired by a person whose stalker used the law requiring home-based businesses to have their address published in order to find and further victimize her.

Selected from a post by State Representative Charlie Meier on 2020 New Laws