CHICAGO (CBS) — A coalition of prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and victims’ advocates has vowed to ensure a greater effort to fight sexual assault in Illinois.

“How long are we going to tolerate crimes of sexual assault?” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked as she announced a new joint working group to fight sexual assaults, increase prosecutions, and help victims.

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The group includes Madigan’s office, police and prosecutors from across the state, victims’ advocacy groups. The working group will hold regular meetings with specific goals – including ensuring medical providers are trained in evidence collection; increasing the number of sexual assault nurse examiners; getting rape kits directly from hospitals to the Illinois State Police crime lab; and making sure victims are not billed for exams, and have access to follow-up medical care

“One of the priorities of this new working group will be to address the challenges that discourage our victims from reporting sexual assault,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

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She and others in the working group said studies suggest only 5 to 20 percent of all rapes are reported to police.

“It’s the most heinous crime perpetrated against an individual short of murder, and that’s why we’re all here, is to change what this outlook will look like for victims,” said Polly Poskin, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

According to Madigan, in 2013, nearly 4,000 rapes were reported in Illinois, but about 18,000 victims, more than half of them children, sought assistance from state agencies.

“It can’t be that crimes that are primarily committed against children and women are never the priority,” Madigan said. “We have to change that.”

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St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said rapes affect all demographic groups, regardless of age, race, or income level.