SNAP Applauds as SOL Reform Passes in Kentucky
A bill that would give survivors of childhood sexual abuse more time to report and seek justice has just passed both chambers and now heads to the governor’s desk. We applaud the legislators and advocates responsible for this important legislation and hope it encourages other states to follow suit.
HB 472 would extend the criminal statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses involving minors and give survivors 10 years after their eighteenth birthday to bring a complaint forward. Critically, this change also applies retroactively which means any victims who have missed the current five-year window for reporting their abuse would now be eligible to make a report.
This bill is an important step in recognizing the realities of childhood sexual abuse. Delayed disclosure is the norm, not the exception, and so amending laws to be more in line with reporting trends allows more survivors to seek justice. This helps to prevent future cases of abuse by getting information about perpetrators and enablers into the hands of police, prosecutors, and the public.
We applaud the passage of this bill and are grateful to its sponsor, Representative Lynn Bechler, for bringing this important reform forward. We hope that legislators in other states are inspired by Rep. Bechler’s example and will introduce reform measures of their own. Allowing survivors to have their day in court leads to healing, justice, and prevention.
(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)