Message from the Interim Co-Directors

Dear Friend,

I hope you’re beginning the new year with peace and happiness. Resilience looks forward to more connection, growth, community, and fortitude in 2023. Many things have changed as of January 1 for survivors in Illinois. Please read our Legislative Updates below to learn more about political happenings in Illinois. Resilience provides policy education and institutional advocacy to improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors and to effect positive change in public attitudes toward sexual assault and we're proud to support many recent bills, several of which you can read more about below.

We also invite you to join us for many events happening in the next few months. You'll see we are hosting various trainings including our Virtual 40-Hour Crisis Intervention Training beginning next week. Our Associate Board will be hosting a new fundraiser, Cocktails for a Cause, on February 18 and early bird tickets are on sale now!

Beyond this winter, 2023 could also be the perfect time for you to get more involved in this community: Become a Volunteer Medical Advocate, apply for an open position, join our Associate Board or Board of Directors, or help us spread the word about all of the free services we offer survivors and their loved ones. We encourage you to participate in whatever way works for you.

Thank you to everyone in our community who supported our year-end annual appeal and survivors on their healing journey. We're honored that you choose to dedicate your time, energy, and resources to empowering survivors and ending sexual violence. 

With gratitude,

Sarah Layden and Amy O'Keeffe, Interim Co-Directors



Meet Michael Happ

We're proud to celebrate the people who connect our incredible community and bring us together in this work. For this month's interview, we're shining a spotlight on Michael Happ, a monthly donor and former President of Resilience's Board of Directors. Read our interview to hear from Michael about getting involved in the anti-rape movement and the importance of supporting nonprofits. Click the button below to read our interview with Michael.


Legislative Updates

Amendments to the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA)

SASETA is a comprehensive Illinois law that sets hospital emergency treatment standards across the state of Illinois for sexual assault. As of January 1, 2023, it is now required that survivors seeking medical forensic services in an emergency room receive treatment from a qualified medical provider. Illinois law has been gearing up to this moment. Passed in 2018, the qualified medical provider requirement was originally set to go into effect in 2022 but was pushed back due to COVID-19.

This is a huge win for survivors who will now receive care from someone specially trained in sexual assault and certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Thank you to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and Illinois General Assembly for prioritizing evidence-based, trauma-informed sexual assault treatment implementation across the state.

Other amendments to SASETA included an extension of the time for follow-up healthcare covered under a voucher provided to survivors seen in a hospital emergency room from 90 days to 180. An opt-out from billing private insurance for survivors who are not the primary policyholder and an increase to the reimbursement rate for hospitals providing treatment services to survivors.

Improvement to Illinois Criminal Law

Substantial improvements to criminal charging options for prosecutors were made in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions regarding sexual assault and someone who is considered unable to give knowing consent.

Illinois law finally clarifies that the legal definition of being unable to give knowing consent includes:

1. Someone who is intoxicated by choice and is unconscious or unaware of the act, and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the accused

2. Someone who is given a controlled substance without their knowledge and is unconscious or unaware of the act, and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the accused

These updates also include language on the inability to provide knowing consent in the custody of DCFS or law enforcement and within receiving services from a healthcare provider or residential facility.

Improvement to Criminal Legal Process and Equity

Set to go into effect January 1, 2023, the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) was part of sweeping criminal justice reform in 2021 affecting policing, pretrial detention and bail, sentencing, and corrections by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (known as the SAFE-T Act).

The PFA contains numerous protections for survivors of gender-based violence and specifically sexual assault. It remedies the ability for people who cause harm to buy their way out of jail, expands the court's assessment of safety and risk, and allows criminalized survivors freedom during the criminal legal process, keeping families and communities together. Sexual assault and other violent crimes also continue to be detainable offenses under the law.

While implementation of the PFA is currently on hold pending an Illinois Supreme Court decision, we join our sister agencies in preparing for this landmark legislation to be successfully implemented in Illinois. Visit our website for more info on how the PFA impacts survivors of sexual violence.

For more information on legislation impacting survivors contact Sarah Layden, Director of Programs & Public Policy, at

Chicago Women’s Mayoral Forum 2023

The Chicago Women's Mayoral Forum asked candidates for their opinions on topics such as climate change and environmental justice, immigration reform, gun violence, and more. You can view survey results from the Chicago Women’s Mayoral Forum 2023 here. Thank you to the Chicago Women Take Action Alliance for sponsoring this event. To watch the Chicago Women's Mayoral Forum in full, visit CANTV's YouTube channel.


Get involved in 2023! Train to become a Volunteer Medical Advocate!

Resilience is always looking for more Volunteer Medical Advocates to join our ranks. Applications for our spring training are open now. The deadline to apply is February 16.

Orientation Sessions (by invitation only): February 20, 21, or 23

Training Dates: March 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30; April 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 19

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Medical Advocate later in the year? Join us for a future training. We host them four times throughout the year. Please reach out to us at with questions! To learn more about our volunteer program, click here

Monthly Journaling and Meditation Group – Virtual

Fourth Wednesday of each month beginning January 25, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. CST

A virtual space for survivors of sexual violence to process their trauma through journaling and guided meditation.

Contact Alexa Diego, LPC, NCC at to request the meeting link. 

Learn more here.


40-Hour Crisis Intervention Training – Virtual

January 30, 31; February 2, 6, 7, 9

This training provides an in-depth examination of how sexual violence impacts individuals, communities, and broader society. Trainees will gain basic crisis intervention skills, explore the neurobiology of trauma, and learn how to respond to disclosures. They will also learn about the legal and medical remedies available to survivors and explore how sexual violence impacts groups of survivors experiencing multiple forms of oppression. This training will conclude with an emphasis on vicarious trauma and self-care and empower trainees with resources they may share with their communities. Click here to learn more.

Questions? Contact Jenna Barrus, Outreach and Training Manager at or (872) 356-8217.


Spilt Milk Associate Board Fundraiser

January 1 through 31, 2023

Spilt Milk (2758 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647)

Visit Spilt Milk, a great neighborhood tavern located in the heart of Logan Square, during January to support Resilience. All month long, a dollar from each 'The Marty' sold will be donated to Resilience. Bring your friends and enjoy a drink for our cause this winter! We'll see you there.


Color Representing Emotion Workshop – Virtual

Wednesday, February 1, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Participants will learn to consider the ability of color to represent feelings, emotional states of mind, or particular experiences. The workshop will include demonstration, open work time, and open discussion with peers. Participants will use color as inspiration to create an image consistent with their current emotional state, goals, or personal narrative. This workshop is open to adult survivors 18+, who are Illinois residents, all genders are welcome. Appropriate participants may be anyone who has experienced sexual violence, including harassment, abuse, or assault. No previous artmaking experience is necessary.

Interested participants may contact Art Therapist Annalise Castro, MAATC at to receive the meeting link.


Monthly Crochet & Craft Group – Virtual

First Thursday of each month, 3:30 – 5:00 pm via Google Meet starting Thursday, February 2, 2023

A monthly craft group focused on teaching crochet stitches and helping troubleshoot crochet issues.  This group is also open to any crafter (knitting, sewing, painting, coloring, etc.) who would like to craft in a safe community space.

This virtual group is open to all survivors of sexual violence ages 18+ who reside in Illinois.

To register, please contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at


Women Survivors Support Group – Virtual

Mondays, February 6 - March March 27, 4 - 5:30 p.m. CST

Join us for this closed virtual support group for women-identified survivors of sexual violence seeking community and a safe space for healing. Participants should live in Illinois and be 18 or older. This group will be facilitated by Alexa Diego, LPC, NCC, and Maryangel Rogliero. Please contact Maryangel at to schedule an intake screening.

Learn more here


Monthly Processing Group – Virtual

Second Tuesday of each month, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. 

This free monthly support group is open to any survivor of sexual violence. Topics will be based on current news but the group will also be an open space for survivors to discuss whatever currently stresses them. This group is open to all persons 16 and older.

Please contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, NCC, at to request to join the group or with any questions.


Cocktails For A Cause hosted by the Resilience Associate Board

Saturday, February 18, 2023, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club - Montrose Harbor (601 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL)

Drink, eat, and dance the night away all for a good cause! Tickets will include appetizers, a live DJ, an option for an open bar, and much more! Bring your friends and colleagues, and enjoy a night on the harbor while looking out at Chicago's beautiful skyline. Early bird tickets are available now: click the button below to register and take advantage of this amazing deal while you can! Early bird tickets are $65 and include access to the open bar. Full-price tickets will be $85 after January 31.

Dress code: Cocktail attire


Save the Date for Evening of Impact 2023!

Please save the date for Resilience’s Evening of Impact on Thursday, September 28, 2023 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Galleria Marchetti. Evening of Impact will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, music, an inspiring program, a one-of-a-kind silent auction, raffle prizes, and more! It's our biggest fundraiser of the year and you won't want to miss it. Mark your calendars for September 28 and learn more here.


Resilience is hiring, apply today!

Resilience is looking for new talent to join our ranks in support of survivors of sexual violence. The following positions are currently open: 

To learn more about careers at Resilience, click here. Do you know someone who might be a good fit? Send them this email!


Get Connected with Resilience's Remote Services

Click here to connect with an Advocate
Please fill out this form to be contacted by a trauma therapist to schedule or confirm a one-time virtual session


Click here to visit our Information on Survivor Options and Rights Page
Click here to visit our COVID-19 Resource Page

180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 600 | Chicago, Illinois 60601
312-443-9603 |

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