SB 1588 An Affirmative Defense for Survivors of Prostitution
End Demand Illinois' new legislative initiative would create an affirmative defense for people facing prostitution charges to refute charges resulting from human trafficking. SB 1588 also provides an in camera hearing for defendants who are concerned about the safety of raising the affirmative defense in open court. Read more about the bill here.
EDI and our partners have achieved several successes since the campaign began in 2009:
Passing Laws to Hold Sex Traffickers Accountable, Create Resources for Survivors
Our policy committee has led the passage of 5 laws that offer protections to survivors of the sex trade. Please note that all descriptions of these laws are historical documents and may not reflect subsequent changes made to Illinois law.
- Creating Funding Streams for Specialized Services. EDI advocated to create new funding streams for specialized services for survivors of prostitution and trafficking. Read more about the law here.
Eliminating Felony Prostitution in Illinois. In 2013, EDI advocated to end felony charges for prostitution in Illinois. Read more about the law here.
Illinois Safe Children Act is the first law in the nation to make minors immune from prosecution for prostitution. Read more about the law here.
Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Crimes Act offers survivors of sex trafficking the opportunity to have prostitution convictions removed from their records. Read more about the law here.
- PA 97-0897 (Formerly HB 5278): Reforming Illinois’ Human Trafficking Code: Passed unanimously in the General Assembly, this bill was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn in August of 2012. PA 97-0897 expands the scope of the state involuntary servitude law by including additional means by which a trafficker can obtain or maintain a victim. The bill removes confusing language from the statute and lessens the emphasis placed on force, which will help prosecutors more effectively use the statute. The bill also extends the time limit for prosecutors to bring charges against traffickers in cases involving minors. The passage of this bill will help prosecutors to more effectively utilize the involuntary servitude statute, which in turn will protect victims. Read more about the law here.
Resources for Attorneys
EDI is also committed to ensuring that these laws are utilized:
- Litigation Guide and Training for Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Crimes: EDI has trained attorneys on this law and has created a Litigation Guide to help attorneys who are seeking relief under this law on behalf of survivors of exploitation. Learn more about the guide and trainings here.
Advocating for Services for Survivors
- Proposal for a Statewide System of Supportive Services for Survivors of Prostitution and Trafficking: Unfortunately, despite all of Illinois’ legislative victories, our state does not offer the very specialized services that could provide survivors with freedom from exploitation. To address this significant failing, End Demand Illinois has just released a proposal for services for survivors. Learn more about the proposal here.