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.
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 institutions 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.
Victims Advocate Fights for Sexually Abused Children, Malvern Patch, February 7, 2013
East Whiteland resident Maureen Martinez is the president of Justice 4 PA Kids, an organization dedicated to eliminating the Pennsylvania statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. A bill to do just that never made it to a floor vote in 2012 in Harrisburg, but she's hoping 2013 will prove more fruitful.
She was a member of St. Patrick Church in Malvern Borough until 2011, when she learned that a priest there was among 21 facing allegations of sexual abuse.
She answered via email our questions about the legislative process, her goals for Justice 4 PA Kids, and what people should know about childhood sexual abuse.