Child Human Rights movement
"All we're asking for, is more time, and to have the courts, and our civil laws, to recognize that the psychological damage done to children prohibits us from being able to come forward until we're well into adulthood. So, we've got generations of kids who are now adults, like me ...who are capable, and ready, and want to expose our predators, and want our day in court ... and all we're asking for, is that opportunity." ~ Barbara Blaine .
(Barbara, continued) In Delaware, where the Bill did pass, what happened is one family made this happen. A victim that'd been abused told his mom and dad, his parents agreed to help him, they went to lawmakers, they found someone to sponsor their Bill. The support is bi-partisan, both Democrats and Republicans ...everybody wants to protect kids.
Jeff Anderson: "The Statute of Limitations Reform Initiative, is really a Child Human Rights movement, that is moving the public policy agenda to the recognition of public policy is written right now, to protect the wrong class ... it needs to protect children.When it comes to children, in terms of rules to protect them, statutes of limitations portent to only one class ... the predators and those who protect the predators. In the case of the Catholic Bishops ...or, in the case of the Boy Scouts ...their superiors ...in the case of the school officials -- whoever it is, often times these people can't thrive, and re-offend ...unless, they're protected by their superiors.
There are statutes of limitations, civilly and criminally. The criminal statue of limitations, that is for prosecution and imprisonment. Then, there's civil ... that's where we get involved ...suing them for accountability. In California, ‘The Window Law' was passed in 2002 that created a 1-year window of opportunity for survivors to bring suit ...that resulted in over 250 offenders being exposed to the civil suits. And in a stunning settlement that we just reach in California, 660 million dollars for 505 survivors.
The bottom line is, that legislation, and legislation like it just passed in Delaware, is now starting to catch the attention of lawmakers and public policy makers across the country. And, in ten states, there are large bills, or initiatives underway, to relax, reform or repeal statues of limitations.
The ‘Window Law', like the California and the Delaware law, in one strategy that is being considered. It's not the complete and total answer ...but, it's a giant step forward. Because, what it does is allow survivors to expose the offenders in a culture that protects them, to civil litigation, to allow their secrets to become public, and in-so-doing, the sins of the past are less likely to be repeated in the future.
It's a really important public policy, because the statutes of limitations are historical, legal statutes that refer backwards, that say justice requires that people assert their claims, quickly.