Back in 2007, a Delaware Legislature was on the brink of creating a branch that would open the doors, temporarily, for adults who are victims of child sex abuse to file suit against their perpetrator. Since then, this “temporary open door” has regained its traction especially to those cases involving the Catholic Church. However, the law stands now with statute of limitations and victims of child sex abuse are not allotted a long standing time frame look back window, or as it called “the retroactive window bill”.
Those determined to get the retroactive window bill passed, most notably, Senator Karen Peterson, spearheaded the campaign herself in an attempt to finally get it passed after countless testimonies of victims who stood by her side in support of the bill’s passage.
Present day, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill just this week that alters the statute of limitations in favor of the victims. Senate Bill 261 is would now be of equal damage to murder – meaning statues would never expire despite how much time passes after the crime is committed.
Several amendments are carried through this passage including a two year look back window for victims whose time has expired out of the court system to reemerge civil suits against the ones who abused them.
“These people’s lives have been damaged,” Peterson continues, “Society pays a huge price not just in dollars and cents,” she said. “It costs $36,000 to keep folks in prison. We pay the price with alcoholism and marriages that fall apart and kids who need supporting. The price to society is huge. Why is society bearing the price? Why aren’t the people who enabled the abuse paying the price? In this case it’s the Catholic Church. Why are we footing the bill for the damage they did to these people and their family?”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has been against the retroactive bill, however, they are in support of raising the age limit for alleged victims of sex abuse from 20 to 50 for prosecution of their abusers while rising the age 20 to 30 for civil actions against their predators.
If you have been sexually abused please call our sexual abuse attorneys at Alonso Krangle LLP at 800-403-6191 or through our website at www.fightforvictims.com. Our attorneys are sensitive to your story and will assist you in recourse and the compensation and justice you deserve. We will fight together against your abuser or any institution that has failed to protect you. Please call us today to review your legal rights.