Protocols for Reporting Sexual Assault/Abuse

April 12, 2012

By Darcee C. Williams

 In 2009, the Lake County Board passed a resolution authorizing and supporting the establishment of a Lake County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council to promote cooperation, coordination and communication between the agencies and individuals investigating and handling sexual assault and sexual abuse cases in Lake County, Illinois.  The Council is comprised of the Lake County State’s Attorney, the Chief Judge of Lake County, the Chairman of the Lake County Board, the Director of the Zacharias Center, the Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools, the Lake County Sheriff  and Scariano, Himes and Petrarca’s, Lynn Himes, among others.  As part of its duties and responsibilities, the Council was charged with developing protocols for dealing with sexual assault and sexual abuse.  To that end, the Council developed Protocols for Reporting Sexual Assault/Abuse for school employees who are approached by students or others with information on sexual assault or abuse.  The protocols are designed to help district employees respond to disclosures appropriately.

The protocols set forth the guidelines for first responders to follow when they receive information regarding sexual assault or abuse.  The protocols also advise what actions must be taken by a particular school district employee, depending on their position, and provide helpful suggestions on handling disclosures and reporting abuse and neglect to DCFS.  Lastly, the protocols provide contact information for Lake County resources available to provide support in situations of sexual abuse/assault.

We recommend that all Lake County school districts follow the Lake County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council’s Protocols for Reporting Sexual Assault/Abuse and publicize the protocols to school district employees.  The Protocols for Reporting Sexual Assault/Abuse are available by clicking  here or by contacting the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office at 847/377-3000 or statesattorney@lakecountyil.gov.

If you have any questions about the protocols, please do not hesitate to contact Lynn Himes at 312/565-3100 or ahimes@edlawyer.com.