CHILD SEX ABUSE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS REFORM

THE SEAN P. McILMAIL STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE AT CHILD USA

The Sean P. McIlmail Research Institute at CHILD USA was founded in 2018. The Sean P. McIlmail Statute of Limitations Research Institute was founded with a generous donation from the parents of Sean McIlmail, a brave clergy sex abuse victim who passed away when the stress of prosecuting Fr. Robert Brennan triggered his struggle with opioids. Sean was the only victim in Philadelphia who could prosecute due to Pennsylvania’s exceedingly short child sex abuse SOLs. The Institute, which will help preserve Sean’s legacy, is dedicated to studying and analyzing SOLs to fight for access to justice for all child sex abuse victims. Deborah and Michael McIlmail have turned their tragedy into a mission for the greater good.

WHAT IS A STATUTE OF LIMITATION (SOL)?

Statutes of limitation (SOLs) are judicial housekeeping rules: they set the deadline for pressing criminal charges or filing a civil lawsuit for child sex abuse. Unfortunately, the vast majority of victims can not prosecute or file civil lawsuits because they miss the arbitrary procedural deadline, or SOL, to file their claims.

Most victims of child sex abuse miss the statute of limitations because trauma affects them in a way that causes them to delay disclosure of their abuse until they are older.  Statistically, 1/3 of the victims of child sex abuse disclose as children and another 1/3 never disclose. Studies show that the average age to disclose is 52, with the median age of 48.

SOLs prevent victims from obtaining justice and from naming their perpetrators publicly for fear of retaliation.

CHILD USA LEADS THE SOL REFORM MOVEMENT

CHILD USA leads the national movement for SOL reform to prevent child sex abuse and empower victims. For too long, short statutes of limitation have blocked justice for  victims and simultaneously protected perpetrators and the institutions that enabled them. SOL reform serves three compelling public purposes: (1) identifying predators, (2) shifting the cost of abuse to those responsible for it, and (3) educating the public about the prevalence and harm of child sex abuse.

The trend is toward elimination of civil and criminal SOLs and the revival of expired civil claims. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia, or 96%, have amended their child sex abuse statutes of limitation since January 2002.   Yet, only one state – Vermont – has reached the pinnacle of SOL reform, which is to simply eliminate the civil and criminal SOLs and revive all expired civil claims with a permanently open revival window.

CHILD USA TRACKS AND STUDIES SOL REFORM

CHILD USA is the leading national organization tracking and studying child sex abuse statutes of limitations. We track every SOL reform bill introduced in state legislatures across the country and publish a 2020 SOL Reform Summary which provides an overview of all pending bills and highlights new laws improving SOLs for child sex abuse in 2020.

Our 2019 Annual SOL Report tracks the progress of the SOL reform movement. It provides a a national overview of the changes made to child sex abuse statutes of limiation since 2002. States are compared to one another and graded based on how far they have advanced toward elimination of the criminal and civil SOLs for present and future victims and revival of expired civil SOLs for victims from the past.

Best SOLs

CHILD USA SOL REFORM RESOURCES

SURVIVOR TOOL KITS

Guide to help survivors understand their rights during the legal process of filing a civil lawsuit under a revivial window.

SOL TESTIMONY

Legal testimony provided by CHILD USA in favor of reforming the Statutes of Limitation.

 

 

 

 

SOL NEWS & DATA

Reports and Data on Statutes of Limitation reform from CHILD USA and others.

SOL RANKINGS

Graphs, Charts, and other visual aids to help in understanding Statute of Limitation Reform in the United States.

 

 

STATUTE OF LIMITATION TESTIMONY

Legal testimony provided by CHILD USA in favor of reforming the Statutes of Limitation.

 

 

 

SURVIVOR TOOLKITS

Guide to help survivors understand their rights during the legal process of filing a civil lawsuit under a revival window.

 

 

 

 

NEWS/ DATA ARCHIVE

Reports and Data on Statutes of Limitation reform from CHILD USA and others.

SOL RANKINGS

Graphs, Charts, and other visual aids to help in understanding Statute of Limitation Reform in the United States. 

 

 

 

SOL REFORM IN THE NEWS

New York Legislature OKs Extension to Child Victims Act ‘Look-Back’ Window

RYAN TARINELLI | May 28

 

 

 

 

 

Nassau County Judge Makes Monumental Ruling for Child Victims Act Claims

Legal Examiner | May 26, 2020

 

 

 

NEW YORK’S CVA

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE IS NEEDED TO HELP SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

EPISODE 2 – INTERVIEW WITH MARCI HAMILTON AND KATHRYN ROBB

 

 May 18, 2020

 

New York Legislature OKs Extension to Child Victims Act ‘Look-Back’ Window

RYAN TARINELLI | May 28

 

 

 

 

 

Nassau County Judge Makes Monumental Ruling for Child Victims Act Claims

Legal Examiner | May 26, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Bill loosening statute of limitation on childhood sexual assault advancing

 

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE IS NEEDED TO HELP SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

EPISODE 2 – INTERVIEW WITH MARCI HAMILTON AND KATHRYN ROBB

 

CHILD USA’S WEEKLY SOL UPDATE

July 24, 2020

Great news for child sex abuse statute of limitations reform this week!

In New Hampshire, Governor Sununu signed a new law eliminating the civil SOL that used to be capped at age 30, allowing survivors of sexual abuse to file civil claims whenever they are ready.

New Hampshire bill HB 705 bill eliminates the civil SOL for incest and sexual assault of minors and adults. It was signed into law on 7/20. New Hampshire is now one of 12 states that have no civil SOL for child sex abuse claims.

In 2020 there are now 7 states with new SOL reform laws for child sex abuse and 30 states and the Federal Government that have introduced legislation.

We’re still waiting on NY legislators and Governor Cuomo to pass the 1-year extension to the Child Victims Act window.

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CONTACT US

info@childusa.org

215.539.1906

3508 Market Street

Suite 202

Philadelphia, PA 19104

 

 

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