Catholics4Change supports a one-time, two-year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations.
If you agree, contact your state legislator.
PA’s current and past statutes of limitations have imposed arbitrary time limits which do not provide the time, distance and personal healing from sexual trauma that many survivors require before they are able to pursue justice and accountability from the individuals who harmed them, and in some cases, institutions that protected the perpetrators.
The one-time, two year window for survivors who were previously blocked by the civil statute of limitations, is a recommendation made in four Grand Jury reports* relating to child sexual abuse cases, supported by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and reinforced repeatedly in the news as case after case of child sexual abuse surface.
Here is the information you need to calculate if you can currently proceed with either a civil or criminal child sex abuse case in PA. It’s completely confusing, but the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape does a great job of explaining the law.
Criminal cases are filed by the state and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Convicted offenders may face incarceration, fines or both.
Civil cases are filed by individuals and must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely to have occurred than not. Civil law is designed to make the victim “whole,” usually in the form of monetary damages. Currently, victims who were over the age of 18 at the time of the abuse have two years to file civil cases. Victims who were under the age of 18 when the abuse occurred have 12 years after their 18th birthday to file civil charges.
Philadelphia Victims: If you or someone you know has been a victim, please contact the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office at 215-686-8783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montgomery County Victims: Contact Info Here.
ORGANIZATIONS & INFORMATION
Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization of faithful Catholics, who organized in 2002 as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. They started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have since expanded worldwide with more than 30,000 members.
This is a non-profit organization working to help enact laws and protect children.
Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress Mariska Hargitay, helps to heal, educate and empower suvivors of sexual assualt, domestic violence and child abuse and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.
A Web site where the current and emerging Church is discussed.
Documents the Abuse Crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.
Catholica.com – A site based in Australia that offers a different way of looking at faith and spirituality.
“Love In Action: A Direct Action Handbook for Catholics Using Gospel Nonviolence to Reform and Renew the Church,” by Richard K. Taylor. Available for $12.95 at Amazon. Click to purchase.
FOR CATHOLIC CHURCH NEWS:
One of global Catholicism’s most prominent chroniclers, Rocco Palmo has held court as the “Church Whisperer” since 2004. A former US correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet, Palmo’s served as a church analyst for The New York Times, Associated Press, BBC, NBC, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and a host of other print and broadcast outlets worldwide. A native of Philadelphia, Rocco Palmo attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.