SNAP Applauds as Maryland Advances Critical Reform Bill
Today, the state of Maryland took its first successful step toward keeping the children of Maryland safe and providing justice to past victims of child sexual abuse.
HB687 was approved by the House of Delegates by a wide margin (136-2) and will now advance to the Maryland Senate where it is expected to face tougher opposition. Many survivors of child sexual abuse testified in favor of the bill as well as several child advocacy organizations. HB687 will permanently eliminate the Statute of Limitations (SOL) for all new offenses of child sexual abuse in addition to providing a two year “window” that would allow all past victims, regardless of age, to bring cases forward. This will open the doors of the courts to allow past victims a chance at justice and to expose predators.
Since 2006, child advocates have been pushing to eliminate the SOL in Maryland and when this bill does finally pass it will move Maryland in line with the 41 other states that have already modified its SOL laws for child sexual abuse. Thanks to this law, survivors of sexual abuse, both child victims and adult survivors, will have a fairer opportunity to seek justice in this state.
We thank the Bills’ sponsor, Delegate CT Wilson, District 28, and each of the 12 co-sponsors whose House Judiciary committee just advanced the bill to the Senate.
We urge all survivors and supporters to contact their respective Maryland Senate members in support of HB687 to restore justice, protect the citizens of Maryland from sexual predators and hold accountable all institutions which have played a role in putting our children in harm’s way.
(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)