Iowa State Senator Janet Petersen sees the need to expose "hidden predators;" SNAP joins in her call to action
Janet Petersen, a state senator in Iowa, has been pushing for a retroactive "window to justice" that would allow victims of child sex abuse who have been time-barred to have the courtroom doors open to them. More importantly, this reform would also benefit communities across the state by revealing both "hidden predators" and those who enabled them. Her proposal passed through the judiciary committee in the last session but never arrived on the Senate floor for debate.
Senator Peterson participated this week in a Facebook Live forum with our allies from CHILD USA and CHILD USAdvocacy, Marci Hamilton and Kathryn Robb. We echo the observation expressed at that event by Ms. Hamilton. "It’s the same culprits all over the country. They lobby like it’s their job, because it is. And it’s really, many of the religious groups do not want any more of their secrets spilled, they’ve had enough of looking bad. And universities don’t want to be held to account, schools don’t want to be held to account. No one wants to look like they’re bad to children."
Victims need reform in Iowa, and no boy or girl should be put at risk from a known abuser. As survivor stories are told and heard across the state, lawmakers should work to deliver justice to those who have been silenced for far too long. When SOL laws are reformed and civil windows are opened, children and communities are safer, and institutions that have hidden or recycled known perpetrators have a strong incentive to change their behavior. SOL reform identifies hidden sexual predators and institutes accountability and consequences for any organization that harbors, conceals or protects them. This legislative change will help ensure others will not be the next victim, and Iowa will become a safer place.
We actively join the call to action for other lawmakers in Iowa to respond to Senator Petersen’s leadership. Iowa should enact this important legislation to protect the most vulnerable, our children, and to give survivors the justice they deserve.
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP President (814-341-8386, [email protected]), Paul A. Koeniguer, SNAP Iowa (515-865-9673, [email protected]), John S. Chambers, SNAP Iowa (515-277-8436, [email protected])