Davidson supports bill to provide justice for sexual abuse victims

HARRISBURG, April 14 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, said she was pleased that a bill that would reform the statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse cases passed the House on Tuesday.


Davidson has been a supporter and co-sponsor of legislation since its creation in all of its evolutions, as she stood with her colleagues, Reps. Mark Rozzi and Louise Bishop, at press conferences where they detailed the abuse they endured as children. 


“It was painful to hear my friends and colleagues discuss their personal stories of abuse, while I admired their courage, and I thought of the tens of thousands of victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania and the time it takes, for Rep. Bishop over 40 years, for them to muster the resolve to speak publically. This made me all the more determined to stand with Reps. Bishop and Rozzi and children to bring some shred of justice to victims of abuse,” Davidson said. “We can only hope and pray that this legislation can bring some comfort for the victims that their voices have been heard.”


Davidson said H.B.1947 would abolish the criminal statute of limitations for future criminal prosecutions for serious child sexual abuse crimes relating to human trafficking, sexual servitude, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent sexual assault and incest.


The bill also would waive sovereign immunity for state and local public institutions in cases of gross negligence, which would allow civil cases to be filed against them. It also would increase to age 50, instead of the current age 30 limit, when sexual abuse victims could file civil claims.


“This legislation will allow thousands of victims who have otherwise been excluded to file suits against their perpetrators,” Davidson said. “Hopefully it is the first step towards justice for victims and accountability for abusers.”


The bill, passed on a 180-15 vote, now heads to the state Senate for consideration.