September 27, 2022

NO LIMIT: Biden protects child sex abuse victims by eliminating statute of limitations

NO LIMIT: Biden protects child sex abuse victims by eliminating statute of limitations

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President Joe Biden’s winning streak continues. This time, signing The Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims act into law.

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Unanimously passing the Senate in March and moving past the House last week, the bi-partisan legislation will do away with the 10-year limit a victim has to file a federal civil claim, from the time of the incident—or until the victim reaches 28 years of age.

According to The Hill, one of the bill’s supporters, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), said on the House floor: “This is because survivors of sexual abuse often take a long time to process their trauma, and many survivors who were abused as a child may not even recognize the abuse they suffered until much later in life.”

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In a statement released on the Committee of the Judiciary website, the bill’s co-sponsors Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), applauded the legislative win.

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“The science of trauma is clear: it often takes years for victims to come forward,” Durbin said. “Our bipartisan bill honors the basic notions of justice for survivors, and I was proud to work with Senator Blackburn and our colleagues in the House to lead it across the finish line. By signing this legislation into law, we can finally help survivors have their day in court and a moment of healing—when they are ready.”

“The statute of limitations for sexual abuse offenses should never prohibit young survivors from getting the justice they deserve,” Blackburn said. “The bipartisan effort to eliminate the civil child sexual abuse statute of limitations is a critical step to guarantee survivors their day in court.”

However, the statute of limitations “does not reflect the current state of research on delayed disclosure.” The decision to come forward is often a difficult one, and it could be years before a victim has the courage to report the abuse – for some it could be well into adulthood. Durbin continued:

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Historically, delayed disclosure has impacted survivors’ path to justice. Survivors often were barred from civil and criminal remedies at the time they disclosed their abuse due to statutes of limitations (SOLs) that did not take into account evidence regarding delayed disclosure.

With Biden’s signature, time will no longer be a barrier to justice for victims of child sex abuse. The President continues to get things done for the betterment of the country, and those living in it. Thanks, POTUS.

Read the full text of the bill here.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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