|Polly Poskin - Executive Director of ICASA|
This work is never easy, either in terms of time or of the psychological stresses of repeatedly confronting the realities of rape in this culture. In addition, it seldom pays very well, if it pays at all. Thus the fact that so many people continue to do this work is encouraging. We take it as a sign of how well the feminist movement’s political activity raised issues surrounding rape and galvanized many women to devote their energies to trying to stop it and ameliorating the consequences. The movement’s insistence that society bears some responsibility for changing patterns of sexual assault continues to guide the activities of many rape crisis centers. For most women working in rape crisis centers, their activities reflect some level of commitment, often very great, to helping women help themselves recover and emerge strong after an assault experience…4
1977 Illinois Coalition of Women Against Rape (ICWAR) is formed.
1978 Rape Shield Act becomes law for sexual assault victims in Illinois.
1981 Federal Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant is signed into law. Illinois Department of Public Health receives allocation with designation for Rape Crisis and Rape Prevention.
1982 ICWAR receives first Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant allocation of $148,889. ICWAR creates its first Contracts Review Committee and allocates funds to twelve centers.
1983 Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Act is signed into law, revising Illinois rape and incest statutes.
1983-84 Confidentiality of Statements Made to Rape Crisis Personnel grants absolute privilege to sexual assault victims.
1984 Illinois Violent Crime Victims Assistance Act is signed into law, making funds available for counseling and advocacy.
1984 ICWAR changes its name to the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA).
1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) passes Congress; states receive notice of future funding for victim services.
1985 ICASA receives one-time grant from the Illinois Department of Public Aid for counseling services.
1985 ICASA granted its first allocation of state General Revenue Funds.
1986 ICASA receives its first allocation of federal VOCA funds from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
1988 Law is passed prohibiting polygraph examination of sexual assault victims.
1988 Hearsay Exception is granted to child sexual assault victims under the age of 13.
1991 Civil Statute of Limitations for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse becomes law.
1992 Citizens vote “yes” for the Illinois Constitutional Amendment for Victims Rights.
1994 ICASA receives allocation for the SACY Project from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
1994 The Violence Against Women Act is passed by Congress and signed into law.
1996 ICASA receives VAWA funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
- Levine, Suzanne and Harriet Lyons, eds., The Decade of Women: A Ms. History of the Seventies in Words and Pictures, Paragon Books, New York, 1980, pp. 6-24.
- Schecter, Susan. Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggle of the Battered Women’s Movement. South End Press, Boston, 1982, p. 35.
- Butler, Sandra. “Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Celebration,” A speech to the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault Conference, San Francisco, CA, November 1996.
- Burt, Martha, Janet Gornich and Karen Pittman. “Feminism and Rape Crisis Centers,” A Research Paper, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., 1984, p. 23.