The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation yesterday, House Bill 3485, to support victims of domestic violence. The legislation paves the way for petitioners of a plenary order of protection the ability to obtain what is known as a “Hope Card” making it easier for domestic violence survivors to carry official documentation for distribution to individuals who may need to be notified of the order.
State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich), who co-sponsored the legislation, said, “One of the worst tragedies for victims of violence and abuse is that they are often faced with situations in their daily lives that cause them to relive their abuse. This legislation helps reduce that likelihood by making it easier to overcome bureaucratic hurdles and be more secure in the activities of their daily lives.
“I’m proud to be a sponsor of this legislation and hope it receives the same unanimous support in the Senate that it received in the House.”
A Hope Card is a laminated card similar in size to a driver’s license. House Bill 3485 would empower the Illinois Supreme Court to implement a program to issue a card to any person under a plenary order of protection that would contain identifying information of the respondent including a photograph, case number, active dates of the order of protection and other pertinent information.
For Bos, legislation of this type to support victims holds special significance. Before joining the Illinois House, he served in the non-profit sector working to free children from sexual exploitation and abuse by focusing on prevention programs for adolescents and adults, and healing programs for children and young adult victims of human trafficking.
If House Bill 3485 is passed by the State Senate and signed into law by Governor Pritzker, Illinois would become the fifth state in the nation to offer Hope Cards.