Statute of Limitation Reform
The statutes of limitations (SOL) for crimes of sexual abuse vary wildly from state to state. Seemingly arbitrary time limitations are placed upon victims creating an environment with stunted healing, revoked path to justice, and heightened protection for abusers. Because the abuser can evade justice, s/he is not exposed nor identifiable and thus remains hidden among our communities.
The cruel, insidious nature of this type of abuse, often committed against the most vulnerable by those in relationships of trust, makes it extraordinarily difficult for survivors to come forward.
According to the National Child Assault Prevention Project, more than 80% of abuse cases involve a parent or step-parent, and almost half of abused children are between the ages of 5 and 11. The statistics are staggering: one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday. And an estimated 80% of all sexual abuse goes unreported into adulthood. It takes victims an average of fourteen years to come forward, after years of personally battling what happened and dealing with life-long affects. By the time a victim is ready to report the abuse to law officials, more often than not their short window to prosecute has closed because of statute of limitations within his/her state and can never be reopened.
Unreported into Adulthood
SOL reform can change all of this.
Victims residing in New York and Alabama should have the same access to prevention, justice and healing as victims residing in Delaware and Minnesota. This is exactly what FSA is working to achieve by partnering with legislators. We must work together to remove the time limit on justice and healing for survivors everywhere, and use our voices to protect the most innocent from further harm.