WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJHL) – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn has paired with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to widen the scope of possible lawsuits against sex abusers through the new “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims” Act.
According to a release from Blackburn’s office, the new bill aims to remove statutes of limitations in federal civil suit cases raised by victims of sex abuse.
“Finally eliminating civil child sexual abuse statutes of limitations will allow survivors to have their day in court and a moment of healing,” Durbin said. “This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support.”
As it stands, victims of sex abuse have 10 years from the date the abuse occurred or the date they turned 18, according to 18 U.S. Code § 2255.
One common aspect of many sex abuse cases is delayed disclosure, where victims are unable or unwilling to report the abuse for years after the fact. Blackburn says the 10-year statute of limitations doesn’t account for this delay.
“The statute of limitations for sexual abuse offenses should never prohibit young survivors from getting the justice they deserve,” said Blackburn. “The bipartisan effort to eliminate the civil child sexual abuse statute of limitations is a critical step to guarantee survivors their day in court.”
The last expansion of federal civil statutes of limitation took place in 2018, raising to the current 28-year-old or 10-year limit.