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Child sex abuse bill aims to extend statute of limitations

The emotional pain and unwarranted shame a victim of child sex abuse can feel can be a lifelong and life-altering. Unfortunately, the trauma of experiencing such a horrific event can cause some to lock away the event and not confront it for many years (through no fault of their own). While the statue of limitations in Pennsylvania on such situations has sometimes provided victims with little recourse over the years, a new bill that was recently approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives aims to change that.

The bill in question focuses on extending the age limit for victims of child sex abuse to pursue charges against their abusers. Currently, the age limit for pursuing such charges is 30. If the bill clears all legislative hurdles, that limit would be increased to 50 and would be retroactive in nature, allowing victims who are currently older than 30 to pursue justice.

Clearly, this change would be further help to enable victims of such heinous crimes to hopefully bring their abusers to justice without such a pressured timeframe. In years past, similar efforts to extend the age limit have been quelled by insurances agencies and institutions such as the Catholic Church. With a recent report of egregious and systematic abuse by priests in the Altoona area, however, the drive to change the age limit has picked up significant steam.

The bill now must go through the Senate, but the approval by the House is a positive step forward for those affected by child sex abuse. Coping with the emotional fallout of such an experience can be overwhelming, but all victims deserve closure. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help those in such situations construct a solid plan of legal action, hopefully resulting in the bringing of an abuser or abusers to justice.

Source:, "State House overwhelmingly approves proposal to aid victims of child sex abuse," Liam Migdail-Smith, "April 13, 2016

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