California Senate Bill 131 will change the antiquated Statute of Limitations (SOL) for civil claims of sexual abuse. The most research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente has shown that twenty-five percent of women and sixteen percent of men were sexually abused as children.
There is a need to change the Statute of Limitations to afford victims of childhood sex abuse their opportunity at justice. Childhood sex abuse often takes decades before victims recognize their experience as abuse, realize how they have been harmed by the abuse, or simply find the strength to come forward. When victims are finally able to disclose the abuse, they often find that the civil statute of limitations has already expired.
In cases involving childhood sex abuse, victims that have only recently discovered the damage inflicted upon them by sex molesters when they were children are tragically without any civil compensation recourse due to the present status of the statute of limitations and therefore, in order to get the treatment that they need, they have to rely on social services and public funding.
The Department of Justice estimates that 10% of our mental health budget is directly related to taking care of childhood molestation victims. This bill, if passed, will in large part save tax payers millions of dollars by transferring the need for payment for treatment from the taxpaying public sector to the private sector parties actually responsible.
The Need for Tougher Laws
We have seen in the cases litigated against a major amateur sporting organization, as well as the matter that has recently arisen at Penn State University, that we cannot rely on another person’s moral conscience to report instances of suspected child abuse and properly vet or screen those to whom the care and custody of children has been entrusted by their parents. It has become necessary to legislate the duty to report and screen and carry with it ‘real’ consequences in the event of non-compliance.
With regard to a major amateur sporting organization, we have seen at least two coaches seek their prey in the form of minor girls across the Bay Area and, despite notification of suspected pedophilia to virtually every level at USA Swimming, nothing was done to prevent their access to children.
We have seen a day care facility, a private entity which rents space from a public entity, hire a pedophile in his 20′s who had a history of child abuse to supervise children, only to see that man go on to molest up to sixteen (16) children under the age of ten (10).
We have seen a foster care facility which had ample knowledge of a foster care parent sexually abusing children and yet continued to place children in his care. Countless lives have been irreparably scarred. Legislation has become urgently necessary to prevent future harm.
Please contact the Senate Judiciary and ask them to support the Child Victims Act, Senate Bill 131.
Senator Noreen Evans (Chair)
Senator Mimi Walters (Vice Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 445-9754
Senator Joel Anderson
Senator Ellen M. Corbett
Fax: (916) 327-2433
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Phone: (916) 651-4019
Senator Mark Leno
Phone: (916) 651-4011
Fax: (916) 445-4722
Senator Bill Monning
Phone: (916) 651-4017
Fax: (916) 445-8081