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Editorial: “Pa. statute of limitations for abuse victims should be altered”

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2012, 6:05 AM By Patriot-News Editorial Board 

“Among the difficult realities of child sexual abuse is that victims might need years, even decades, to come to terms with their abuse.

It isn’t until they deal with the emotional trauma of what happened to them that they then are ready to confront their abuser.

Unfortunately, our justice system is not set up to deal with this all-too-common occurrence.

Instead, there is a statute of limitations in place that only gives victims a certain amount of time to file a complaint, either civil or criminal.

If they come forward after that time period has expired, they are barred from going forward. We have seen this most prominently with accusations against priests in the Catholic Church.

This system not only does not allow victims to seek the justice they deserve, but it also protects the sexual abuser, whose identity otherwise might never become public.

This can mean allowing them to continue abusing others.

In the case of the allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, attorneys have heard from one man who can’t press charges against Sandusky because he missed the statute of limitations cutoff by a mere nine months …”

READ THE FULL EDITORIAL:

Editorial: “Pa. statute of limitations should be altered”

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