DeLissio votes for bill to help child sex abuse victims pursue justice

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said that a statutes of limitation reform bill that passed the House and is back in the Senate is a long-overdue step toward helping victims of childhood sexual abuse pursue justice.

The House voted 173-21 last week to pass S.B. 261, a bill that would remove the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and extend the statute of limitations to age to 50 for civil suits for child sexual abuse. DeLissio voted in favor of the bill.

As amended in the House, the bill includes a two-year retroactive window for now-adult victims of childhood sexual abuse who have aged out of their statute of limitations, allowing them to bring civil claims in court.

“It is well documented that it can take decades for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to process the trauma. Giving them the ability to pursue justice through the court system when they are ready is the right thing to do,” DeLissio said. “The most recent grand jury report revealed widespread efforts to conceal abuse in the Catholic Church – and we know that this issue is not limited to the church.

“This legislation is a long-overdue step to better protect children, help survivors heal and make sure perpetrators are held accountable, including those who would endeavor to cover these crimes up.”