By Victoria Hsieh. Bay City News.
Two California lawmakers introduced a bill Monday that would end the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and remove barriers for survivors seeking justice.
Assemblywoman Dawn Addis and State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced Assembly Bill 452, which would allow survivors of child abuse to come forward when they are ready to deal with their traumatic experiences.
Thus, AB 452, or the Justice for Survivors Act, would remove the deadline for victims to report their abuse. Currently, those who allege they were sexually assaulted as minors can only seek justice in court until they reach the age of 40.
"There are good reasons why survivors of sexual assault and abuse can take years or decades to confront their experience," Skinner said. "This delay may be due to the complex ways we process trauma and suppress painful memories to protect ourselves."
The bill builds on the Child Sexual Abuse Victims of Justice Limits Removal Act signed into law in 2022, which removes the statute of limitations for people filing claims in federal court.
Many other states followed and removed this statute at the state level.
"It is unacceptable and cruel that many victims of child sexual abuse in California cannot hold their abusers accountable because our law now says their time is up," Skinner said.
"AB 452 will correct this error by removing the deadline for bringing civil actions against child molesters and those who aided or allowed the abuse to occur or covered it up," he added.
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