SNAP Celebrates Survivor Advocates as Rhode Island Assembly Advances SOL Reform

We applaud lawmakers in Rhode Island, especially Rep. Carol McEntee, for advancing needed reform to the civil statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse. The bill that these legislators have now forwarded to Gov. Gina Raimondo for her signature will help create safer, more informed communities in Rhode Island.

We are especially grateful to Ann Hagan Webb, a powerful speaker, advocate, and survivor whose efforts were central to the passage of this bill. Rep. McEntee, the sister of this dynamic advocate, said to the press that “this is Annie’s bill.” Ann’s willingness to share her story of abuse publicly and work with survivors and legislators was critical to building momentum for this reform and we applaud her effort.

The bill as passed by the Rhode Island legislature is the latest bill to reform the civil statute of limitations to reflect the realities of sexual violence: due to myriad factors such as the fear of being disbelieved or fear of retribution, the average age of a survivor coming forward is 52, and by the time most feel comfortable to come forward, they are barred by the statute of limitations. Once Gov. Raimondo signs this bill, that barrier will no longer be the case in Rhode Island.

We hope that other legislators around the country will look to Rhode Island as an example as they too begin to take up SOL reform in their own states, and we hope that those states have an advocate as dynamic as Ann Hagan Webb.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

 


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