AG Report Should Lead to Legislative Reform
The report into clergy sex crimes that was released by AG Lisa Madigan yesterday has revealed a stunning level of secrecy in catholic dioceses throughout Illinois.
Illinois bishops have a key partner in their secrecy: state lawmakers who refuse to fix archaic, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.
If this arbitrary, unfair time limit were temporarily suspended, as several states have done, bishops would be far less able to hide child molesters. Instead, children would be safer and survivors will be helped by being able to bring abusers to justice.
California, Delaware, Hawaii and Minnesota have taken this simple step toward children's safety. It works. It enables our time-tested justice system to determine who is "credibly accused," not church officials who are not trained to investigate or adjudicate crimes.
This report should be a clarion call for change in Illinois. Illinois legislators already reformed the statute of limitations for child sex crimes in 2017 which was a good first step. Now, we call on Illinois legislators to finish the job in the 2019 legislative session by creating a window that will enable children and vulnerable adults who experienced sexual violence to seek justice in the courts and prevent future cases from happening.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)