Possible Progress In PA For Survivors

Editor’s note: In reviewing news articles on the PA Senate actions regarding the Grand Jury recommendations, Ivy DeJesus provides the most clear and thorough analysis.

The two bills are poised to change the rules for adults long time-barred from the courts as a result of too much time passing since the alleged crimes. Victims and advocates welcomed hard-fought progress, although some hoped for broader reforms.

One bill would prospectively eliminate the statute of limitations for victims of child sex crimes. The measure would also expand the window for childhood victims to file civil suits against their abusers to their 55th birthday. Under current law, victims of child sex abuse must pursue criminal cases by age 50 and civil suits by age 30.

The other bill would amend the state constitution to allow a retroactive window during which victims of child sexual abuse could sue predators. The retroactive period would apply to individual perpetrators, employers and institutions that might have shielded them from prosecution. Constitutional amendments take time: lawmakers must approve a constitutional amendment in two consecutive sessions and then it would go to voters for approval. The earliest it could appear on a ballot is 2021.

To read the entire article, click here: “Pennsylvania moves closer to overhauling child sex crimes laws after Senate passes “historic” reforms,” by Ivy DeJesus, PennLive.com, Nov. 20, 2019

3 thoughts on “Possible Progress In PA For Survivors

  1. Many victims of clergy abuse will never see any justice.Many will die before they see justice. The cumbersome process will take years to take effect.Two more years where both houses must agree to pass the same bills. Then a public referendum.Does anyone think this will pass without opposition from the Church.I can see pastors in every parish railing against this referendum from the puppet.And if the referendum should pass ,victims can look for years til they get to a courtroom.I believe that what has passed is better than nothing. But many will still be left behind.

  2. More delay for victims like myself. Sexually abused by a christian brother at West Catholic Boys in 1965/66. Reported it to school and archdiocese. NOTHING. Testified at grand jury in July, 2004. Now, 71, it seems they are just waiting for victims to die off.

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