‘Faith’s Law’ looks to protect Illinois students from grooming, sexual abuse

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 1:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Governor JB Pritzker signed Faith’s Law on Friday. The house bill is named after Faith Colson, who was sexually abused as a high school student in Schaumburg, Ill.

It took time to get signed into law, but the house bill closes very risky loopholes in existing state legislature. Faith’s Law expands the definition of grooming in the criminal code from internet communication to acts performed in-person, through direct communication or a third party, or written communication.

The law also provides resources and protections for sexual abuse survivors and their families, and requires school districts to develop a sexual misconduct code for educators, review employment history, and raise awareness to teachers about what grooming looks like and how it effects victims/survivors of sexual abuse both physically and mentally.

“My goal in working on this legislation for the past two years has been to prevent other students from having to suffer as I did, and I am hopeful that with these new measures, schools will be safer and futures will be brighter. Protecting children and preventing abuse takes not just emotion but action,” says the law’s namesake.

The law holds the Illinois State Board of Education responsible for creating a parent resource guide, which would serve as a centralized source of assistance and provide resources available to the parent or guardian of a student who is or may be the victim of sexual abuse.

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