For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Georgia lawmakers may lengthen the time child sex abuse victims can take legal actions against the adults who molested them. We hope this bill (H.B. 771) passes. It's not perfect but it will make kids safer.
Giving child sex abuse victims more time to file civil cases helps to publicly expose those who commit and conceal crimes against kids. Ideally, however, we believe the statute of limitations should be removed entirely and a civil “window” be adopted that enables any victim to expose any predator, no matter how long ago the crimes took place.
When California lawmakers did this, more than 300 predators were exposed, many of whom were still on the job or living among unsuspecting neighbors.
Most victims are unable to come forward for years or even decades. We feel that there should be no time limit on when a victim can come forward to get justice for the heinous crime of childhood sexual abuse.
We urge the Georgia legislature to pass H.B. 771. We hope that they will go even further, though, and make Georgia kids much safer by repealing the statute of limitations all together.
(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)