Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Survivors
Posted on: June 21, 2021 Sexual Abuse & Assault Lawsuits
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 73 into law in April 2021 which eliminates the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault of minors and adults. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, said of the new law, “Victims deserve justice whenever they choose to seek it. Outdated laws won’t be able to stop them anymore.”
Currently in Colorado, survivors of childhood sexual abuse only have 6 years after turning age 18 to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser and only two years to sue an organization. Those limitations will disappear on January 1, 2022 when the new law takes effect. The one caveat is that the new law only applies to future victims and those whose statute of limitations has not yet expired. However, a different bill which would benefit victims whose statute of limitations have passed is pending before a Senate Committee.
Ensuring that past victims of childhood sexual abuse have access to justice is important, as it can take years, even decades, before a survivor is ready to talk about the abuse. An arbitrary date on a calendar shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether or not a survivor of childhood sexual abuse can file a claim. This is especially important in a state like Colorado, where an investigation by the Attorney General has unearthed allegations of sexual abuse against 43 priests, some dating back to the 1960s. Not eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse for all survivors only protects the perpetrators.
The passage of this new law should be seen as a positive step in the right direction towards giving all survivors of childhood sexual abuse access to justice. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was pleased to see the bill signed into law. A statement released by the organization said in part: “It is a fact that current and past civil statutes have protected the wrong individuals and institutions from accountability for their actions. By taking this step to reform the statute of limitations in Colorado, it is now possible for more survivors to have their day in court and for some of the costs associated with the lifelong trauma of sexual abuse to be shifted from victims and taxpayers and onto the abusers and enablers.”
The entire article can be viewed here.
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If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual abuse within the Colorado Dioceses, contact our firm today. Our law firm handles Colorado clergy sexual abuse lawsuits and can help you understand how long you have to file a clergy abuse claim in the state of Colorado. Call us now at 1-800-941-7209 for a FREE and PRIVATE consultation.