The Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (SADV) Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) is committed to prosecuting crimes against Cook County’s sex offenders and domestic violence abusers. The SADV Division helps the most vulnerable survivors of any age to engage in the criminal process in the least traumatic and most sensitive manner possible. This approach to sexual assault and domestic abuse allows for open communication between the prosecutor and the survivor and enables the survivor to remain engaged in the criminal justice process. The SADV Division seeks justice for survivors on a case by case basis taking into account the individual needs and unique circumstances of every survivor while endeavoring to protect the public from abusers and predators.
The SADV Division encompasses three units that specialize in handling cases involving vulnerable and sensitive survivors:
- The Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Felony Trial Unit;
- The Domestic Violence Unit; and
- The Child Advocacy and Protection Unit (CAPU).
The CCSAO Dashboards are tools created by the CCSAO Data Team to provide context and explanation of felony domestic violence and sexual assault data:
The SADV Division provides the Assistant State’s Attorneys (ASA) who work in these units with advanced training on trauma-informed and victim-centered prosecution. The CCSAO wants to ensure that survivors are protected, and their experience with the justice system includes best practices and effective and professional prosecution of cases. Utilizing a vertical prosecution approach, where a survivor works with the same ASA throughout the entirety of their case and working in coordination with other agencies are some of the ways in which the SADV Division works to achieve a more trauma-informed approach for survivors. ASAs in the SADV Division have served as content experts in the field and presented at national and international conferences.
The goal of the SADV Division is to use a victim-centered approach to prosecution with an offender-focused response. This approach to prosecution decreases re-victimization by ensuring the survivor is treated with compassion and respect throughout their engagement with the criminal justice system. The SADV Division works diligently to educate the community on the dynamics involved in sexual assault and domestic violence cases; including tactics used by offenders to manipulate survivors and dispelling myths and misinformation throughout the process.
Also, the SADV Division proactively engages in partnerships with law enforcement, advocacy agencies, and medical personnel in various multidisciplinary teams for cases involving children, adolescents, and adult sex crimes, and domestic violence survivors. In October 2019, The SADV Division welcomed the office’s first support dog to assist children and mentally disabled survivors of sexual assault and violence during their interviews and court testimony.
Resources Available for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Survivors should call 911.
Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline: 888-293-2080
CCSAO Victim Witness Unit: 773-674-7200
Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-877-863-6338
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Rape Crisis Centers in Illinois
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE): 773-244-2230 ext. 204
Legal Aid Chicago: 312-341-1070
Ascend Justice: (312) 971-5932
Metropolitan Family Services, Legal Aid Society: (312) 986-4105
Victims of Crime Compensation
Information for Immigrant Victims of Crime (ENGLISH)
Información para Víctimas Inmigrantes de Crimenes (ESPAÑOL)
U Visa Certification Request Protocol (ENGLISH)
Protocolo Solicitud de Certificatión, Visa U (ESPAÑOL)