Kentucky Governor Signs New Child Abuse Bills into Law but State Still Falls Short
Posted on: August 12, 2021 Sexual Abuse & Assault Lawsuits
In April of 2021, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 254 into law which enhances the penalties against predators who possess, view or distribute sexually exploitive material of a child younger than 12, making it a Class C felony and raising it to a Class B felony for subsequent offenses.
In addition, Beshear signed House Bill 472 into law which extends the statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses against children from 5 to 10 years. It also revives claims for child sex abuse that are time-barred as of March 23, 2021 if they are brought within 5-year of when the SOL expired. Beshear explains:
Most children, in particular the very young, do not disclose abuse in real time. We must do everything we can to create the safe pathways so that survivors of childhood sexual abuse feel empowered to make their voices heard and tell their stories in their own time, while ensuring we can still hold the perpetrators accountable.
While Beshear’s statement feels genuine, providing child sex abuse victims only 10 years after they turn 18 to come forward is still way too short of a time period for most sexual abuse survivors. One study conducted on child sex abuse victims reported that of the 33% of people who actually do report their abuse, the median age of those who reported was 52. If the make-up of those abused in Kentucky is at all similar to this study, it’s likely the extension of the statute from 5 to 10 years will do very little to help those who really need it.
To further add insult to injury, Kentucky leads the nation with the highest rate of child abuse. According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Child Maltreatment 2019”, Kentucky’s rate of abuse is 20.1 per 1000 children – the highest in the country – noting over 20,000 cases of child abuse in 2019. While the rate is down from previous years – 23.5 in 2018 and 22.2 in 2017 – Kentucky lawmakers still have a long way to go to impact real change for survivors of child sex abuse in their state.
The entire article can be viewed here.
Kentucky Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
If you or a loved one were a victim of child sexual abuse, contact our firm today or learn more by visiting our Kentucky sexual abuse lawsuits page. Our firm reviews cases of sexual abuse and assault nationwide and can help you understand your legal options. Your time to file a sexual abuse and assault claim is limited. Call us today at 1-800-941-7209 for a FREE and PRIVATE consultation.