April 5, 2013
Bill will eliminate state’s archaic statutes of limitations for felony child sex
crimes, which now protect abusers and those who hide them
For the first time in Oregon history, large numbers of adult survivors of child
sex abuse will step out of the shadows in support of bill which will protect
Portland, OR – The years-long campaign to reform the archaic statutes of limitations
for childhood sex abuse crimes in Oregon is intensifying in 2013.
The Oregon House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the subject in
the State Capitol on Monday, April 8, at 1:00 P.M., to discuss HB 3284, a bill
presented by the House Judiciary Committee itself.
Prior to the hearing, a large number of adult survivors of child sex abuse will rally on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol from 11:15 A.M. to 12:15 P.M., in support of HB 3284, which will eliminate the criminal statutes of limitations for the following crimes against minors by adults: first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful penetration, incest, and first-degree rape. Oregon, usually thought of as a progressive state, is coming late to this party. Thirty three other states already have eliminated criminal statute of limitations for these crimes and others against children. Attempts to pass a similar bill in Oregon in
2011 were unsuccessful.peakers will include Rep. Jeff Barker, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Brent Barton; writer, activist and adult survivor Randy Ellison; journalist and adult survivor Margie Boule, and others.
Nationwide headlines over the past 18 months are a graphic illustration of why current law in Oregon is inadequate to protect children from predators. Incidents of past child sex abuse, most of which could not have been prosecuted in Oregon, include cases involving the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, Penn State and Syracuse Universities, the BBC, Horace Mann School and Yeshiva University High School.
Rally participants who are willing to share their identities and personal stories with the media will carry picket signs rimmed in green. Those who are not ready to share their stories or their names will carry red-rimmed signs. Nearly all marchers will carry green signs.
In the U.S., one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Victims typically have great difficulty coming to grips with crimes done to them, and keep the secret of their abuse for decades. They often are psychologically unable to speak out until after Oregon’s statute of limitations has expired, making it impossible to prosecute their abusers. Pedophiles can continue to abuse children for decades; serial child sex abusers offend as many as 400 times in their lifetime. Eliminating the statutes of limitations for these crimes will take more pedophiles off the streets, warn more families that abusers are nearby, and protect more Oregon children.
For information about the rally, for more statistics, for names and contact information
of Oregon experts on the effects of child sex abuse, contact:
OAASIS (Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service)
Web site: oaasisoregon.org
For information about HB 3284, contact:
Board chair, OAASIS