Clergy victims back SD child sex abuse reforms
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.
Dozens of states have done this in recent years. South Dakota, however, has gone backwards. Its lawmakers made kids more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to child molesters. They have made life harder, not easier, for child sex victims. Representative Hickey's bill can reverse this.
When adults know they can be penalized for wrongdoing, they're apt to avoid wrongdoing. But when some adults know they'll never face litigation for acting recklessly and deceitfully, they'll be tempted to act recklessly and deceitfully. That's 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.
Kids are safest when child predators are imprisoned. But when that can't be done, the next best approach is to publicly expose child molesters through our civil justice system. This measure helps that happen. It will make South Dakota a safer place for children, not for child predators.
We beg legislators to vote to safeguard vulnerable kids, not complicit adults.
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.
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.