State Senator Robert PetersSPRINGFIELD — Aimed at helping more survivors of domestic abuse and gender-based violence, State Senator Robert Peters advanced legislation dealing with re-sentencing rules for survivors and options for safe living situations.

“Survivors must have better protections under the law so they can escape dangerous situations,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Survivors need to feel they can trust our justice system and be empowered to seek safety from abusive situations.”

After the Illinois Supreme Court made a decision in People v. Wells that re-sentencing does not apply to individuals who pled guilty – even if they’re survivors of domestic violence or sexual violence – Peters introduced Senate Bill 3285. The bill lets survivors who took a plea deal ask for lighter sentences or have their charges reversed. The goal is to make things fairer for survivors in the justice system and to push for fewer survivors being locked up because they felt forced to take plea deals.

In addition, Peters advanced Senate Bill 3652 that would require the Illinois Department of Human Rights to create a brief summary outlining the housing rights and procedures for survivors of domestic or sexual violence and their household members. This includes terminating leases early, installing safety locks and accessing housing protections. Landlords must provide this summary to every tenant upon lease signing or face fines of up to $2,000 for non-compliance.

“By making sure every individual understands what they're entitled to, we're giving them the power to get the support they need,” said Peters. “We have to keep pushing for fairer and impartial systems for survivors and their families.”

Senate Bill 3652 and Senate Bill 3285 passed the Senate and now move to the House for further consideration.