Advocates Against Sexual Abuse Take on Statute of Limitations

Friday, June 15, 2012

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.


Marci Hamilton and Tammy Lerner

Produced by:

John Light

Comments [4]

jude carole from florida

How do we change the statute of limitation laws for children of sexual abuse? I liken child sexual abuse to murder of which there is no statute of limitations. A perp tries to murder the soul of a child. Take away it's childhood. First degree robbery to me with use of a deady weapon to boot. But, how do we change this? If noone does anything, nothing will get done. Peace......

Jun. 22 2012 12:48 PM
JeannieGuzman from Muleshoe, TX

I feel sorry for the Church in light of the fact that 30, 40 or 50 years ago, that there was absolutely no one in the Hierarchy with enough wisdom to realize that the international coverups of Priest Pedophiles would come back later (with a vengence) to literally bit them in their collective buttucks, but more importantly in their wallets! They never thought the children, whom they allowed to be "Soul Raped" would ever grow up into Thinking Adults, rather than "Thinking Catholic!" It's the Church's own fault that there is no one around to defend Her from lawsuits. If She had acted responsibly in the first place, the perpetrators would have been handed over to police, and there would have been plenty of people "around" and still "alive" to defend the Church's side of the story. As the old saying goes, "What comes around goes around," and I'm glad that I'm still "around" to see a day of reckoning for the Church. Now is the Church's Dies Irae, Dies Silla, or as they say in English: "[God's] Day of Judgment, Day of Wrath!"

Jun. 16 2012 08:52 AM

Statutes of limitations are basically say, "If you can keep a secret for this much time you're free and clear of whatever bad thing you've done."

Jun. 15 2012 10:49 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Does retroactive removal of a statute of limitations sound fair?

Jun. 15 2012 05:54 AM

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