Arizona and Texas join the steadily growing number of states who changed or are in the process of changing their statute of limitations on sexual abuse.
Arizona joins California, New York, New Jersey, and others in passing legislation that extends time for sexual abuse victims to file claims against their abusers. HB 2466 allows victims of child sex assault in Arizona to sue their abusers in civil court until the age of 30. The additional 10 years given to victims, who previously had until they turned 20 to sue, offers a second chance to survivors previously barred by inflexible statute of limitations.
“This bill is an important step in providing victims of child sexual abuse the justice they deserve,” tweeted Governor Doug Ducey, who signed the bill May 28th. The bill unanimously passed both the House and Senate earlier in 2019. With the reality of child sex abuse and its devastating impact finally being recognized by the public, legislatures are starting to appropriately respond through changing archaic sexual abuse laws.
As increasing sexual abuse cases pour out the Boy Scouts of America and Catholic Church, states like Arizona are shifting to help sex abuse victims instead of restricting them through outdated limitations. Though, despite Arizona’s additional 10 years to file a civil suit, Sen. Paul Boyer still advocates for an even higher age limit so older victims can sue for damages. Currently, all victims, regardless of age, have until December 31, 2020 to come forward.
Considering Arizona’s welcomed legislation, the public eye turns to Texas, whose House recently approved HB 3809 unanimously. House Bill 3809, filed by Rep. Craig Goldman, would allow victims 30 years after they turn 18 to file civil lawsuit against their abuser. Goldman is set to concur with the Senate’s version of the bill this Friday, steadily working towards passing the bill. Insiders closely following the bill’s development expect for the governor to sign it into legislation soon.