Bill eliminating statute of limitations for child sex abuse civil suits heads to Biden’s desk


Posted: Sep 13, 2022 / 03:54 PM PDT

Updated: Sep 13, 2022 / 11:51 PM PDT

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The House on Tuesday passed a bill eliminating the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse who seek to file civil claims, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk for final approval.

The chamber cleared the bill, titled the Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act, by voice vote, a strategy reserved for non-controversial, popular measures. The Senate passed the legislation by unanimous consent in March.

The measure calls for removing the statute of limitations for minors filing civil claims relating to a number of sex abuse crimes, including force labor, sex trafficking, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.

Under current law, minors who experience sexual abuse are able to file federal civil claims until they turn 28 years old, or until 10 years after the violation or injury is discovered. The bill Congress passed seeks to eliminate those time restraints.

There is no statute of limitations in place for criminal offenses involving child sex abuse.

During debate on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said survivors of child sex abuse often delay reporting their situations, which could put them at risk of not seeking damages because of the statute of limitations.

“Also common is delayed disclosure, with the tendency of survivors of child sexual abuse to wait many years before disclosing abuse to others,” Nadler said. “This is because survivors of sexual abuse often take a long time to process their trauma and many survivors who were abused as a child may not even recognize the abuse they suffered until much later in life.”

“Unfortunately, because survivors of child sexual abuse often delay reporting, any statute of limitations may prevent survivors accessing justice and seeking damages in civil court,” he added.

The New York Democrat argued that statutes of limitations in place for civil claims of child sex abuse “can serve to protect abusers and enable them to continue to exploit their power by allowing victims’ claims to expire.”

“This bill will enable survivors who are victims of federal child sex abuse offenses, including aggravated sexual abuse, sex trafficking, human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual exploitation, to seek civil damages in federal court regardless of the amount of time that has passed since the abuse,” he added.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the House floor Tuesday said the bill “would allow victims of human trafficking or sex offenses to seek civil remedies regardless of when the crime took place.”

Showing 4 comments

  • Ann Webb
    commented 2022-09-17 09:21:14 -0500
    Is it retroactive or just for crimes committed now and going forward?
  • Robert Lescault
    commented 2022-09-15 14:44:06 -0500
    This is a great new idea to of course help us survivors of any kind of sexual Abuse there is and of course my story is very important to me as another survivor is to them. And I see some stories that make my abuse look no where as horrific as what I read how much misery this has brought into my life as well as so many others. So I do have complete compassion for every single one of us. I try to keep in mind my story has. To be very important to me as well as others no mater how it happened and the yrs of misery that we suffered. I do spend time reading so many stories that i put myself in a place of thinking that there story is so much worse and they are but I have to remember I suffered 40 Years Of silence. And I self destructed and so now in order to keep getting help and hope that I learn to identify not compare and let myself think that I’m not important today because we all sure as hell are so so important To each other. But the biggest part of what this is missing is the lobbying for all survivors no matter what age. That there be a way to get financial help even If we file a suit that’s great we all appreciate that so much. As it’s become an important part of my recovery and so I do not believe that a guy I’m 57. And i cannot find one single site. State or government and definitely not non profits to help us through the years of the legal process. So as much as it’s a wonderful idea a lot of us will dye on a park bench homeless because there is not anything one of the places i mentioned have been able to help me in one single financial way and I’m trying to recover and move forward but I looked for a coupe yrs and not one place can help. This is the big problem we face most of us will probably never see a penny of our suites because there tied up in court for years and like mine a Catholic Church complaint is almost impossible to settle between the church as well as all the lawyers who also hold up settlements because guess what they have agendas too. There tryin to get more clients all over the country and make sure these voices are heard as some of the lawyers have alot of clients. and big platforms to speak there minds. That’s bullshit too. Who’s holding them accountable to anyone to make sure this remains about the survivors. Not any one or thing else as I was abused by a priest and I listen and understand that they have been covering this up for years and years and even lobbied to keep us from suites. But let’s start to look also at the whole problem too. We already blast the church and we no why. But who in fact asks the lawyers why they say and do what they do to hold up are getting closure for our selfs. I Beg you all as a older survivor that you begin to take off the blinders and look at the whole problem not just the one sided one make them
    Acountable too. How about there salaries get hurt until they meet our obligations And move to 100 victims and not lose a step in there agenda of getting as many of these cases as they can. While we go homeless and hungry and not give in at all to anything because they don’t like the way it’s worded every time we leave that bargaining table. Guess we survivors wonder will we ever get another chance or did there egos also get in the way of our survival and if no one is seeing’ this play out over and over than are we just leaving it up to them even the biggest platforms of lawyers have come out in public not only holding the church accountable but One of these guys has expressed his absolute hatred and long time anger against the Catholic Church. Guess what this isn’t helping me one bit. You tell me what gives a lawyer any right to say this and probably hold up my abilities to pay bills not later in life. Why is he or anyone putting there problems on the table as we’re abusing the diocese for. And where does this end and no one says a word. We in Albany NY have a mediation in NYC On Monday and Tuesday. And guess what some of these I call Them blow hards have condemned this from day one. WTf that gives me no hope as when I first heard it I had i Tiny bit of hope. And a couple of these people are not going to like anything about our settlement so now the diocese goes to bankruptcy and who knows how long we get another shot. Or if some of us live to see the 2 yrs down the road it will take to get back in court. Ask the victims in Rochester if they wish they had a voice in any of the legalities And many of the survivors can’t buy a good meal. Wtf it’s time all sides grow the Fuck up and realize it’s not anything to do with there delicate egos and understand that it’s only about the survivors abilities to Move on. So guess what if they go to our mediation without a open mind at all. Why do they get to go to the next state and get 50 more life’s to screw up for there own agenda and making millions as one was blatantly open about telling In am interview.

    Want names. I am not going to let myself be a prop for the next 50 people they recruit and ruin them too.

    Ask me any questions I’ll answer and try and do as I’m doing open our minds to start to worry about ourselves because the lawyers are part of the problem too.
  • kipef kipef
    commented 2022-09-14 09:36:21 -0500
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  • Michael McDonnell
    published this page in News Story of the Day 2022-09-14 07:20:45 -0500

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