FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David Chayer
August, 25, 2021 Cell: 915-503-3562
SACIS/CAISA Welcomes New Legislation to Protect School Children, College Students, and Survivors of Sexual Assault; Announces New Executive Director
Charleston, IL… The Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service (SACIS) and its satellite offices Counseling Advocacy and Information for Sexual Assault/Abuse (CAISA) in Olney and Robinson, strongly supports legislation, recently signed into law by Governor Pritzker, designed to protect children, college students and survivors of sexual assault. Over a dozen bills have been signed into law addressing issues like crime victims’ rights, Civil No Contact Orders, Stalking No Contact Orders, human trafficking, confidentiality, crime victim’s compensation, forensic science, and inclusive sex education.
“We applaud the Governor and the legislators who supported these important changes that will unequivocally make a difference for survivors of sexual assault right here in Eastern Illinois and, more importantly, to help mitigate it” said SACIS Executive Director, David Chayer. “Make no mistake, sexual assault and human trafficking is real and happens in communities throughout our 9-county area. We must use every tool, every law, and every opportunity to respond and to prevent them from happening.”
“Equipping students, educators, and caregivers with the tools to address internet safety and violence prevention is one of the best ways to face the widespread, yet concealed, presence of violence in our rural communities” said Amanda Feder, Director of Prevention Services for SACIS/CAISA. “Youth in our area are asking for this growth in the curriculum, which reflects their identities and experiences, to promote healthy and safe relationships.”
The supported legislation signed into law by Governor Pritzker, includes:
- HB 24 – age-appropriate discussions on consequences of sexting in grades 6-12
- HB 588, SB 506, SB593, and SB1600 – human trafficking
- HB 734, HB 1742 – Civil No Contact Orders
- HB 1739 – Crime Victims’ Rights
- HB 3223 – Success in Schools
- HB 3295 – Crime Victim’s Compensation – increases funding for survivors
- SB818 – inclusive health/sex education curriculum with option for parental consent
- SB90 – Forensic Science Commission to increase coordination/reduce testing backlog
- SB1600- addressing sexual misconduct in higher education
- SB1677 – Stalking No Contact Orders to include electronic communication
SACIS also today formally announced it has a new Executive Director, David Chayer. He replaces Erin Walters who relocated out of state following 15 years of leadership for the organization. David has over 22 years of senior nonprofit leadership and management experience including the American Red Cross, The ALS Association, and the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence in El Paso, Texas. David began his Red Cross career as the State Director of Government and External Relations in Illinois, representing the Red Cross to state and federal government leaders and coordinating statewide disaster response and planning with emergency management.
Before joining the nonprofit world, David worked for six years in state and local government in Illinois, including positions with the City of Carbondale, Office of the Illinois Lieutenant Governor, and the Illinois General Assembly. In 2000, David was elected to the Divernon Village Board in his first-ever campaign for public office. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor at Blackburn College where he taught State and Local Government. Chayer also served as a volunteer firefighter, and, for five years, served as the Head Cross Country Coach at Auburn Junior and Senior High School in Illinois.
Originally from St. Anne, Illinois, David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
About SACIS/CAISA: SACIS/CAISA supports survivors in the Eastern Illinois area by offering free and confidential counseling, medical and legal advocacy, as well as community and professional prevention programming. Established in 1977, SACIS/CAISA provides direct services to over 450 individuals a year. The SACIS/CAISA team of trained staff and volunteers is dedicated to empowering survivors, advocating for justice related to sexual victimization, and promoting the end of sexual violence. SACIS is located in Charleston, IL and covers residents of Coles, Cumberland, & portions of Clark counties. Our satellite office, CAISA, has locations in Olney & Robinson, IL and serves Crawford, Edwards, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, & Wabash counties. Crisis support is available 24/7 via our hotlines: SACIS- (888)345-2846 or CAISA- (866)288-4888