Barbara Blaine's Testimony
To support legislation to extend civil statutes of limitation in Ohio

Select Stories From Across the Nation

Catholic Leaders Fight Legislation on Suits
   - Washington Post, April 1, 2006

Bills on Child Sex Abuse Languish Despite Public Anger
     - Associated Press, March 4, 2003

State Legislation Related to Church Sex Abuse Crisis
     - Associated Press, March 4, 2003

States Follow California's Lead on Priest Abuse Legislation
     - Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2003

Advocates Ask Bishops to Help Prosecute Abusive Priests
     - Associated Press, May 9, 2002

From Alaska:

Alaska Committee OKs Bill for Sex Crimes Lawsuits
   - Juneau Empire, April 3, 2007

From California:

Clock Stops in California Sex Abuse Cases
     - Washington Post, April 4, 2003

From Connecticut:

State House Backs Stricter Penalties for Sex Abusers
     - Hartford Courant, May 3, 2002

From Florida:

Legislators Draft Bill To Aid Clergy Victims
      - Sun-Sentinel, June 30, 2002

From Illinois:

New Law Suspends Time Limit on Civil Suits
     - Chicago Tribune, November 2, 2003

From Indiana:

Digest of Indiana Senate Bill #301, regarding statute of limitations

House Panel OKs Sex Abuse Bill
     - Indianapolis Star, Jan. 28, 2004

From Maryland:

Cardinals in Baltimore, D.C. Lobby Against Sex Abuse Bills
   - Washington Post, March 24, 2006

Cardinal McCarrick Decries Maryland Child Abuse Bill
     - Washington Post, February 22, 2003

From Massachusetts:

Massachusetts Clergy Abuse Victims Not Forgotten by Time
   - Springfield Republican, June 19, 2006

Sex Abuse Victims, Activists Flood Committe with Testimony
   - State House News Svc. March 14, 2006

Changes Sought in MA Sex Abuse Laws
    - Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 17, 2006

End to Time Limits in Abuse Cases is Urged
    -Boston Globe, April 11, 2003

Laity Steps Up Sex-Abuse Fight: Boston Victims Groups Lobby for New Laws
     - The Boston Herald, November 24, 2002

Victims' Group Uses Spotlight to Seek Changes in Law
     By Laurie Goodstein
     - The New York Times, May 10, 2002

From Missouri:

St. Louis Archbishop Rigali Backs Missouri Review of Statute of Limitations Laws
     - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 10, 2002

From New Jersey:

Governor Signs Bill Lifting Charity Shield
   - Trenton Times, January 7, 2006

Senate Panel Considers Changes to NJ Charitable Immunity
     - Gloucester Cty. Times, Jan. 27, 2004

Help from Megan's Mom: Maureen Kanka Now Advising Those Who Were Abused by Priests
     - North Jersey Star-Ledger, May 22, 2003


A Civil "Window"
Protects Kids

THANKS TO the tireless efforts of hundreds of caring Catholics and dedicated survivors, lawmakers in several states are considering civil "windows" (like California's) to expose the predators, protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

And because of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton's recent disclosure of his childhood victimization by a priest and his support for such "windows," the issue is beginning to attract more public attention.

Years and years of our own research, experience and advocacy (along with history, psychology and common sense) convince us that a civil "window" is the single most effective step toward preventing future abuse. Here's how:

1) Exposing predators.
The "window" enables victims to publicly expose the predators who hurt them, through the open, impartial, time-tested American judicial system. It means that parents, neighbors and employers will know about potentially dangerous individuals.

2) Exposing enablers.
Through the balanced judicial process - depositions, discovery, interrogatories and sworn testimony - anyone who ignored a sex crime, shielded a molester, destroyed a document or deceived a victim's family may also be exposed.

Families deserve to know whether their pastor or day care center director or athletic association harbored a sex offender, stonewalled a prosecutor, or lied to a parent.

Citizens deserve to know whether a diocese or a summer camp director knowingly hired child molesters.

3) Fear of litigation.
Without the "window," a supervisor who's been lax about child safety has no incentive to change bad habits or work harder.

With the "window," decision-makers will know that if they insensitively shun a victim or recklessly endanger a child, they may be exposed in court and face consequences for having done so.

4) Fear of financial consequences.
Passage of the "window" will prod defense lawyers, public relations staff and others to beef up child sex abuse prevention and education.

Concerned employees will start asking their supervisors "Do we do background checks on everyone here?" and "Are we ready for a potential lawsuit?"

Smart organizations will start or expand efforts to train adults about reporting abuse and teach kids about "safe touch," knowing that
- victims are less inclined to sue an institution that seems to take abuse seriously,
- judges and juries are more lenient with institutions that are already addressing the problem which led to a lawsuit.

From New York:

New York Bills Target Clergy Abuse
     - Albany Times Union, March 5, 2003

From Ohio:

Victims, Church Battle Over Ohio Senate Bill 17
   - National Catholic Reporter, December 9, 2005

From Pennsylvania:

Group Asks for Change in Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Law
   - Philadelphia Inquirer, October 20, 2005

From Wisconsin:

Clergy Abuse Survivors Back Tougher Laws
     - Madison Capitol Times, September 19, 2003


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests