Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence Act: What Are the Training Requirements?

Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence Act Explained

Posted on 26 July 2016 |

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illinois sexual violence actDid you know that Illinois’ Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act goes into effect August 1, 2016? With the deadline fast approaching, we put together a webinar, hosted by Sondra Solovay, Esq., Vice President of Content at Campus Answers, to discuss how campuses like yours can comply with the training requirements under both federal laws and the new Illinois law.

You can watch the whole thing here. But if you don’t have the time, we wanted to highlight some of the most important aspects—specifically about training—from the Illinois’ law.

Several states have enacted laws to tackle sexual violence on campus, and the Illinois law is one of the more significant ones. It has several components. And it seeks to send a strong message: just because you are students and alcohol might be involved does not mean anything goes.

Overview of the Training Requirements in the Illinois’ Law

Training is required and the law is broad. It applies to all students attending one or more classes on campus. Training is required to be annual—to happen every year, and the best practice is to have an ongoing, year-round approach to awareness.

Also, the training must include information on the institution’s comprehensive policy. The training can cover all the information in the policy, but at minimum, by law, it must cover:

  • Definitions of consent, inability to consent, and retaliation
  • Reporting specifics
  • Survivor services
  • Strategies for bystander intervention
  • Strategies for risk reduction

So that is already a lot of required content.

The Definition of Consent

We’ve previously discussed how different colleges and universities are defining consent, and the Illinois law is no different. It is very specific regarding the approach to consent. In Illinois, institutions of higher education must adopt a consent standard with certain minimum standards, but you are free to adopt a more demanding version of consent.

  • Consent must be a freely given agreement
  • Lack of resistance does not constitute consent when force or threat of force is present.
  • Manner of dress does not constitute consent
  • Past consent does not equal future consent
  • Consent does not transfer between people
  • Consent can be withdrawn anytime
  • Incapacitation precludes consent

Comprehensive Policy Concerning Sexual Violence

Each year students must be given a copy of your institution’s comprehensive policy concerning sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The policy must contain the following components:

  • A specific and detailed definition of consent
  • Detailed reporting procedures that students may use to report a policy violation
  • The institution’s procedures for responding to allegations
  • A statement of the institution’s obligation to provide easy to understand, concise information about survivors’ rights and options
  • Contact information for the nearest location where a free forensic exam can be attained
  • Contact information for state, community and national sexual assault crisis centers
  • A statement for survivors letting them know about available accommodations and protective measures and specific information related to protective orders
  • Complaint resolution procedures
  • A statement of the range of possible sanctions
  • A statement about the obligation to provide amnesty in some situations
  • Information about the prohibition against retaliation against good faith reporters and good faith participants in the complaint procedures, and sanctions for retaliatory conduct.


Overall, the Illinois’ Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act is very broad and very detailed in its reach to help combat campus sexual assault. And while we couldn’t review everything in a blog post, we hope you have a better idea of some of the more important aspects of the law when it comes to training.

To learn more download our webinar, or please fill out the form on the right to reach out to us and speak with a compliance specialist about your training needs.

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