Minnesota Child Victims Act Passes Senate Unanimously!
Sen. Ron Latz's version of the Child Victims Act just passed 60-0. Thank you to everyone who contributed to raising awareness and contacting these legislators. The voice of the people has been heard!
The Minnesota Child Victims Act Passed the House Vote!
Thanks to all who called the elected officials and voiced their support for this vital legislation. You have shown the importance of taking a stand against child sex abuse and have given survivors and victims a chance to be heard. Thank you!
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Key States Currently Considering the Child Victim Act
For more information on reforming statutes of limitation for child sex abuse and efforts in other states, please visit one of our advocacy partners at www.SOL-Reform.com
If you are victim or adult survivor seeking assistance, please refer to our Connect Directory for a full listing of organizations that can provide help. Visit HERE
The sexual abuse of children is a public health epidemic in the United States. Recent child sex abuse cases at Penn State University, the release of documents concerning sexual abuse and the Boy Scouts and consistent reports of abuse within Minnesota institutions such as Shattuck-St. Marys are recent examples.
Research has shown that as many as one in four women and one in five men suffered abuse as a child and that almost 90% of abuse never gets reported. Those that do come forward find themselves barred by the legal technicality of a statute of limitation. Considering how long victims often take to find the courage to speak out, statutes of limitation are woefully short and act as an arbitrary barrier to justice.
The Minnesota Child Victim’s Act would allow Minnesotans who were sexually abused as children to bring civil lawsuits at any time against their abuser or the institution that facilitated or covered up the abuse. This new law would encourage victims of child sex abuse to come forward and potentially identify abusers who have never been caught and are still abusing children.
Victims would still have to prove that the abuse occurred, and, if applicable, that another person or organization who wasn't the abuser, is legally responsible--but it would take away the short statute of limitation shield that perpetrators and those that protect them often hide behind.
In 1989 Minnesota enacted a delayed discovery statute stating that an action for damages based on personal injury caused by sexual abuse must be commenced within six years of the time the plaintiff knew or had reason to know that the harm they suffer later in life (their “personal injury”) was caused by the abuse they suffered in childhood.
In 1996, the Minnesota Supreme Court interpreted the 1989 delayed discovery statute in Blackowiak v. Kemp stating that “as a matter of law, one is ‘injured’ if one is sexually abused.”
The result being that since Blackowiak Minnesota law assumes that a child who is sexually abused knows at that time that they are “injured, and thus, has until they are 24 years-old to bring a civil action.
- 41 states recognize the unique nature of child sex abuse cases and have a separate statute of limitations for child sex abuse lawsuits.
- Four other states--Maine, Florida, Delaware and Alaska-- have already eliminated the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse.
- Three other states--California, Delaware and Hawaii-- have already allowed child sex abuse lawsuits no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.