We share this press release from the Senate President’s office. This is an issue that Senator Brownsberger has long worked on and is pleased to see pass in the Senate. To read more on this issue and to comment, visit this link.
Senate Passes Bill to Extend Statute of Limitations
BOSTON – The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to extend the statute of limitations in civil child sex abuse cases. announced.
“The changes in this bill are essential for protecting the victims of sexual abuse and holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “Often, it takes time for victims to truly come to terms with their abuse, especially if the incident happened when they were children, and we should extend the window of opportunity that allows them to call for justice.”
“I am very grateful to the many victims of childhood sexual abuse who have gone through decades of emotional agony, but have had the courage to come forward, tell their stories, and show us the need to make these necessary changes,” said Senator Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on The Judiciary. “I do believe that the changes we have made will help protect children in the future.”
The bill extends the amount of time an individual can claim an incident of sexual abuse from 3 years after the act occurs to 35 years and takes effect when the victim has reached 18 years old. Under this bill, a claim can be filed if it is made within the new 35 year limitation.
For individuals who do not immediately or reasonably discover the emotional or psychological harm caused by the incident, the bills grants an extension from 3 years to 7 years after the realization occurs. This provision is retroactive and applies to claims that have been filed before the changes were made.
The Senate and House will now produce a compromise bill for final passage and consideration of the Governor.