Sunday, March 15, 2009

Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations - Update

I have heard from Don Brockett - who has headed the issue of extending statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes in the state of Washington - that a House hearing on the current bill (Senate Bill 5832) that extends the limitations until the victim's 28th birthday) is now set for Wednesday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. in front of the House Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee at the House Hearing Room E of the John L. O'Brien Building in Olympia.

Go to the hearing if you can. (I won't be there as I am at a workshop in Sandpoint all week.) Or email the committee members. Here is a sample letter. The main reason that the extension is important is that it often takes child victims a long time to realize that they have been abused and to get over the shame and sense of responsibility that they have for the abuse itself so that they can step forward and report the abuse. As noted by the state's Sentencing Commission Director Jean Soliz Conklin during her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing a few weeks ago, it is important to let the child have at least some time out of the childhood household to be able to feel comfortable bringing forth the accusation.
Also, this is the recommendation of the Sentencing Commission - to increase the statute of limitations to the victim's 28th birthday - based on a comprehensive study that the Commission made this past year - so it does come recommended from a state agency.

The extension covers only some of the child sex abuse statutes. And it does not eliminate the statute of limitations entirely. But it is a beginning.

Committee email addresses are:
Rep. Christopher Hurst,; Rep. Al O’Brien,; Rep. Kirk Pearson; Rep. Brad Klippert; Rep. Sherry Appleton,; Rep. Roger Goodman,; Rep. Steve Kirby,; and Rep. Charles Ross,

No comments: