For immediate release: Friday, February 28, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A proposed bill in George would extend the statute of limitation for child sex crimes 7 years. This is a step in the right direction, but stronger action is needed.
House Bill 771, which was passed by a House Judiciary Committee, would give victims of child sexual assault and additional 7 years to file lawsuits. As the law stands now victims only have 5 years after they turn 18. Under the new law victims will have until they are 30 years old.
We are glad this small step in the right direction was taken and that lawmakers are acknowledging that many victims of child sexual abuse take years to report their abuse, due to the extreme trauma. We are sure that this law will help many younger people who were abused as kids, but it does nothing for older people.
Statute of limitations in child sex crimes only protect dangerous predators who more often than not will hurt more than one child. To help prevent future crimes removing the statute of limitations is necessary or at least offering a window.
We hope this bill will pass the full house and open the door for even better protection for children and justice for victims in the future.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)