MD--Important SOL hearing Tuesday in Maryland
At 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 8th, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear testimony about proposed legislation to extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Senator Robert Young, supported by victim advocacy organizations, such as SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and Pastors, SNAPnetwork.org) is working again to relax the civil statute of limitations (SOL).
Currently, in most Maryland cases, the civil SOLs are three years after a victim turns 18. As a mother of a sexual abuse victim, I know that is not enough time for survivors to expose predators, protect kids and receive justice. The primary force lobbying AGAINST this sorely needed reform is the Catholic church hierarchy. (Wonder why?? Watch the 2016 Academy Award's Best Picture "Spotlight.")
Victims are often not able come forward about their trauma into their adulthood - as seen in the recent criminal conviction of Nate Morales, the former worship and youth leader of CLC formerly of SGM (now SGC) His victims did not come forward until their late 30s and early 40s. If they had not been able to receive a criminal conviction in this case, they would not have been able to sue in a civil court either given Maryland’s current predator-friendly statutes.
Criminal and civil laws are like the two bookends that hold up our judicial system to enable justice for victims and protect the society. Come join me in testifying for the extending of Maryland’s civil SOLs on child sexual abuse.
Pam Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of proposed bill, MD-SB69: https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/SB69/2016