SOL Reform Sabotaged by Clerical Error in Pennsylvania, SNAP Responds
Statute of limitations (SOL) reform has hit another obstacle in Pennsylvania, this time due to a devastating clerical mistake that will set back recently-passed reforms until at least 2023. While this news is awful and disheartening, we hope that this terrible situation will not damper the spirits of the survivors and advocates who have fought for this critical reform.
Due to a failure to advertise the proposed constitutional amendment that would pave the way for survivors of sexual abuse to have their day in court, the Pennsylvania Department of State has dealt a serious blow to SOL reform efforts in Pennsylvania.
“This is numbing news,” said Mike McDonnell, leader of SNAP Philadelphia. “But I want to encourage survivors who have fought for this reform to hang in there. We have been through other fierce battles and kept fighting, and this one is no different.”
It is disappointing and distressing that what amounts to a clerical error will lead to two additional years of justice denied and delayed for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. We hope that some sort of remedy can be found in state law, or that new reform can be introduced, in order to mitigate the damage this error has caused. Survivors have shared their stories, pain, and hopes with legislators and the public years in support of this critical reform and we hope that elected officials in Pennsylvania are scouring their laws and rulebooks to find a way to repair this damage.
“No one knows adversity like survivors,” said McDonnell. “We will keep our heads up and keep pushing for change that we know will protect children, expose predators, and help those who have been victimized heal.”
(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)