Changing the statute of limitation has become a key battle for sex abuse victims. These statutes create deadlines for when a victim of abuse can press charges or bring a civil suit. The deadlines differ by state, but victims and their advocates in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York are pushing to lengthen the deadlines — or, in some cases, get rid of them entirely.
Increasingly, these struggles are against the Catholic Church. The Church says it won’t be able to find witnesses to defend the institution in claims that are decades old.
Marci Hamilton is a professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and a lawyer who represents plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases. Tammy Lerner is the Vice President of Abolish Sex Abuse.