A new law in Illinois will strengthen the rights of sexual assault victims.

The new law, signed Friday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, was the result of changes proposed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and came after a BND investigative report in February 2015 called Violation of Trust.

The new law provides victims of sexual assault stricter protections during the evidence collection process and ensures transfer of evidence from hospital to police in a timely manner. It also allows the state to hire forensic scientists to analyze evidence and addresses the decade-long rape kit backlog at state crime labs.

“As a state, we must do everything within our power to ensure victims are supported and that their aggressors are quickly brought to justice,” Rauner said.

“We stand with the victims of these malicious crimes. This bill strengthens the policy behind evidence collection and give the state tools to speed up the testing process to ensure victims have the ability to hold their aggressors accountable and get the justice they deserve.”

Madigan formed the Sexual Assault Working Group, which initiated the legislation to address the fact that most sexual assault survivors do not report their crimes to police. The task force was created after the Belleville News-Democrat published its four-day series called “Violation of Trust” that reported 70 percent of rape cases reported to police in southern Illinois don’t make it to court. The article compared the number of criminal sexual assault and abuse cases reported to police with the number of cases filed by prosecutors in the 32 counties in southernmost Illinois from 2005-13.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article95788997.html#storylink=cpy