For Immediate Release Contact: Kath Cummins
March 7, 2013 202.590.0837
Washington, D.C.-- The National Center for Victims of Crime congratulates the Minnesota House of Representatives Civil Law Committee for its support to lift the civil Statute of Limitations on child sex abuse, and its vote to create a legal “window” for past victims to bring actions.
“Child abusers and the institutions who shelter them have been able to ‘run out the clock’ and avoid justice because their victims are often adults before they are ready or able to come forward," said National Center Executive Director Mai Fernandez. “Yesterday, Minnesota House legislators affirmed that their priority is protecting children and holding negligent institutions accountable.”
This important three year window in the House version of the Child Victims Act will allow any survivor of sexual abuse to bring suits forward for three years (until 2016). In addition, the House version ends the civil Statute of Limitations for future child abuse cases, with the exception that claims based on vicarious liability will still be subject to the six-year Statute of Limitations that currently exists in Minnesota law.
The three year window to file suit is similar to legal windows passed in California, Delaware and Hawaii. In California it was this crucial legal window that led to the release of Los Angeles Archdiocese personnel files which implicated senior clergy of relocating abusers in an elaborate attempt to exploit the Statute of Limitations.
The Child Victims Act must now pass the House Judiciary Committee, a full House vote, and be voted for by the Minnesota Senate.
"We call on all Minnesota lawmakers to stand with the survivors of child abuse and to protect all children in the state of Minnesota by voting to pass the Child Victims Act," said Ms Fernandez.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.