States Consider Measures to Support Sexual Assault Survivors
While many continue to work from home, state legislators in at least two states have recently gone to work to pass critical reforms to statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations, or the time in which one has to file a timely lawsuit, varies state by state. For civil and criminal sexual assault cases, the statutes have been traditionally far too short for survivors to seek justice against their abusers. Fortunately, Child USA and other organizations, plus an army of survivors, have been working tirelessly to reform these outdated laws, state by state.
Recently in New Hampshire, the State House and Senate both passed a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for all survivors of sexual assault to file suit. Right now, New Hampshire only allows six years for adults to file a civil suit for sexual assault and until the age of 30 for survivors who were sexually abused as children. The bill is now before New Hampshire’s Governor, Republican Chris Sununu, for his signature to transform the bill to state law.
Today, in Florida, a new law also goes into effect that eliminates the statute of limitations for the prosecution of criminal sexual assault if the survivor was a child during the abuse. Dubbed "Donna's Law," the law allows prosecutors to file criminal charges at any time after a survivor reports child sexual abuse.
In the last year, it is estimated that 23 states in the U.S. have expanded their statutes of limitations relating to sexual assaults. At Grewal Law PLLC, our attorneys are working with a highly experienced team to bring these sort of reforms to Michigan as well. Allies and survivors can join our efforts by calling, sending letters, and using social media to influence their state legislators.