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#430831 - 04/11/13 12:55 AM STATES TO EXTEND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTES
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1536
Loc: New England
STATES NEED TO EXTEND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
SAN DIEGO (MMD Newswire) April 10, 2013 -- Fourteen states including New York, California and Pennsylvania are considering extending the time period within which a victim of childhood sexual abuse can sue those legally responsible for the insidious and latent injuries that will almost certainly occur but not become apparent until well into adulthood. A multitude of studies, surveys and published data reveal that child sex abuse victims, more often than not, delay reporting, if at all, this heinous crime until well into adulthood. There are a variety of reasons for this phenomenon, including threats, shame, self-blame, lack of trust, and fear. In addition, the very nature of the injuries suffered often interferes with the victims functioning, and understanding of the harm done precluding enough awareness to take action.
According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. Approximately three quarters of those victims will be abused by someone they are acquainted with, including a family member, teacher, coach, religious leader and others similarly situated. Unfortunately, most victims delay reporting of their abuse, if ever, until they are well into adulthood.

In most cases, by the time a victim either understands that what was done to him or her was criminal, or musters the courage to report the matter to law enforcement, the criminal statute of limitations has expired and no criminal action can be taken against the perpetrator. States cannot extend criminal statutes of limitations retroactively without violating the Ex Post Facto provisions of the U. S. Constitution. For this reason, it is critically important for state legislators to extend their civil statutes of limitations, which, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, may be amended and extended without running afoul of the Constitution. By extending the civil statute of limitations, and reviving the rights of older victims whose claims are currently time barred to pursue a civil lawsuit, the legislators will be appropriately responding to the reality of the nature of the harm done to children by sexual abuse. Today, the laws tend to favor perpetrators, and those who have protected them and defrauded the public. This has allowed criminals and their sponsors to walk away scot free while shifting the cost burden to victims, and state taxpayers.

"It's time for state legislators to act to protect our children from the ravages of child sexual abuse and to send a strong message to child predators and their protectors that time is not on their side"said Irwin Zalkin, an attorney who has represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

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#430851 - 04/11/13 04:06 AM Re: STATES TO EXTEND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTES [Re: Jude]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3609
Loc: South-East Europe
This is badly needed initiative.
It is shame how everything is set up in favor of abusive person in legal terms. I'm praying for some change.

Thank you for bringing it Jude wink !

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#430855 - 04/11/13 08:07 AM Re: STATES TO EXTEND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTES [Re: Jude]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
New York has been CONSIDERING extending this for about 12 years now and it always loses due to pressure from religious schools. We'll just see if it ever comes true.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#430890 - 04/11/13 03:19 PM Re: STATES TO EXTEND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTES [Re: Jude]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
SOL is only part of the battle, although a welcome one.

Another significant area is state tort laws which, for example, protect municipalities and their institutions. In my case, I believe I should have been able to sue the public school where my first abuses took place at the hands of a guidance counselor. I discovered my perp's activities were common knowledge in the school.

Many attorneys - including mine - are primed for the lifting of SOLs at which time the courts can expect a significant increase in filings. Similarly, revoking or limiting tort laws would probably bankrupt many municipalities.

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