123456789SPRINGFIELD – To ensure that survivors of sexual assault have access to care and evidence collection during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) helped pass a new law that would allow any federally qualified health center to administer rape kits during a public health crisis.

“The fear of going to a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge obstacle for sexual assault survivors,” Bennett said. “This law expands treatment options for survivors and enables them to seek justice, even during a public health crisis.”

Senate Bill 557 allows approved federally qualified health centers to perform rape kit examinations and collection during public health emergencies like COVID-19.

“Survivors of sexual assault deserve justice, care and comfort,” Bennett said. “We have to make sure services are available to help people who have been sexually assaulted during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The bill was signed into law June 5 and took effect immediately.

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