SNAP Applauds as Vermont Governor Signs SOL Reform into Law
We applaud lawmakers in Vermont, especially Rep. Martin LaLonde, for passing this important reform. This law amending the statute of limitations (SOL) is one of the strongest in the nation and the people of Vermont should be proud of their leadership on this issue.
With H.330 signed into law, Vermont is now the latest state to pass sweeping reform to their civil statute of limitations for cases of sexual violence. These changes come as more states around the country are amending their laws to reflect the realities of sexual violence: due to myriad factors such as the fear of being disbelieved or fear of retribution, the average age of a survivor coming forward is 52, and by the time most feel comfortable to come forward, they are barred by the statute of limitations.
Fortunately, that is no longer the case in Vermont.
By opening a “window to justice” and allowing survivors whose cases were previously barred by SOL to be heard in court, important information can be exposed that can help create safer, more informed communities. We hope that other legislators around the country will look to Vermont as an example as they too begin to take up SOL reform in their own states.
(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)