Yesterday, SD lawmakers refused to support a bill that would have made kids safer from child sexual predators. Shame on them.
South Dakota remains the only state in the union to have gone backwards in terms of child safety in the last decade.
Besides jail, two things keep kids safe from child predators - publicly exposing predators and deterring others from concealing their crimes. There's no better way to do this than by reforming archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.
Victims of these horrific crimes need time to understand, cope with and report these horrific crimes. They are often trapped in cycles of guilt, depression, substance abuse and other destructive behaviors. When they finally muster the courage to step forward, they find that the statute has run and the predator is free to prey
Rather than making it easier for victims to speak up, South Dakota lawmakers have made it harder. Its legislators have made children more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to child molesters. They have made life harder, not easier, for child sex victims..
When adults know they can be penalized for wrongdoing, they are more likely to avoid wrongdoing. But when some adults know they will never be forced to face the consequences of their actions they will be tempted to continue this reckless behavior. That is one reason so many child molesters violate dozens and dozens of kids - because their employers have often escaped any consequences for ignoring or hiding their crimes. This must stop if we are to protect the children.
Kids are safest when child predators are imprisoned. But when that cannot be done, we believe the next best approach is to publicly expose child molesters through our civil justice system. But sadly this did not happen, Representative Hickey’s bill did not pass and South Dakota is a safer place for predators, not children.