Comprehensive PDF including: 2014 Pending Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitations Reform Bills, Window Legislation Enacted and States with No Civil and Criminal SOLs
Myth #1: SOL reform is dangerous, because it will generate many false claims.
Fact According to reputable studies conducted by scientists, false claims by victims about sexual abuse are extremely rare. In cases brought under California’s window, there were about five total false claims from over 1,000. False claims were washed out early in the process. Even in those rare cases, the burden of proof of the abuse rests with the victim bringing the claim.
Myth #2: It is unfair to revive expired claims because memories fade and evidence is stale.
Fact Plaintiffs must have facts to support their claims, or a case is dismissed. For most victims, the events are seared on their memories, and most institutions have records or employees that corroborate the victim’s claims. The justice system works, and opening a window to lawsuits based on past abuse does no more than grant access to the system.
Myth #3: Window legislation that allows victims to file retroactively revived lawsuits will lead to diocesan bankruptcies.
Fact Virtually all of the diocesan bankruptcies (Davenport, Fairbanks, Milwaukee, Portland, Spokane, and Tucson) occurred in states with no such legislation. Only the Wilmington and San Diego bankruptcies followed enactment of SOL reform legislation, and only Wilmington followed through on the filing to a court-approved plan. San Diego was forced out of bankruptcy court because of its failure to disclose its actual and ample wealth.
Myth #4: The majority of child sex abuse victims are boys.
Fact At least 60.2% (3 of 5 child sex abuse victims) are female.
Myth #5: SOL reform unfairly targets religious organizations.
Fact No SOL reform has been limited to any one or all religious organizations and there are countless other institutions that have protected abusers including schools, hospitals, sports programs and juvenile facilities. Moreover, the largest number of survivors come from families and close family associates, which are covered by SOL reform, too.
Tony and Doreen, good people pushing for good laws in IL!
Sen Jom Beall of CA for fighting the good fight for SB 131
Senator Maile S.L. Shimabukuro, Hawaii
Sen. Karen Peterson of Delaware is one of the leading pioneers in SOL reform in the United States. She led the charge to enact a window in 2007, and to eliminate the civil SOL that same year. When a technicality blocked the 2007 window from being applied to abusing health care professionals, she also led the charge to enacting a 2010 window that would apply to health care professionals in Delaware. Thanks Sen. Peterson for your vision and passion for the protection of children!