Survivors, politicians propose sexual abuse reporting laws in Michigan
By Dan Murphy, February 26, 2018, ESPN
LANSING, Mich. -- The women who spoke up to help put convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar in prison are speaking again, this time in support of changes to Michigan laws that would make it easier to hold his enablers and future would-be abusers accountable.
Six women who say they were abused by the formerly celebrated sports physician for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics joined a host of state politicians Monday afternoon to introduce a package of proposed legislation related to reporting sexual abuse.
Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault in September 2016, said the proposed bills would take Michigan from one of the nation's least victim-friendly states in the judicial process to one of the nation's best at handling these cases.
"The legislative package unveiled today will become a blueprint for our country," Denhollander said during a news conference at the state's Capitol.
The laws, if passed, would include new rules that make it mandatory for coaches, athletic trainers and volunteers involved in youth sports to report any claims of sexual abuse, and would increase the penalties for failing to report those claims to up to two years of prison time and/or a $1,000 fine. They would also significantly extend the statute of limitations in criminal and civil court, allowing women and men 30 years after their alleged assault to report what happened to them. Minors would have up to 30 years beyond their 18th birthday.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.