PA Legislation May Open a 2-Year Lookback Window for Sex Abuse Survivors
Survivors of Scouting abuse in Pennsylvania may receive a renewed chance of pursuing justice against their abusers. The Delaware County Daily Times reports PA senators are currently considering a package of bills that would drastically alter the state’s constitution and provide more opportunities for victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice. This set of measures would operate as follows:
- HB 962 would amend Pennsylvania’s constitution by completely removing the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse
- HB 963 would open a two-year window for sexual abuse victims to bring forward civil suits, even if they were unable to file previously
- HB 1051 would establish clear penalties for continuously failing to report child sex abuse
- HB 1171 would ban the use of non-disclosure agreements in relation to cooperating with law enforcement.
These bills passed out of the state Senate Appropriations committee on Tuesday, and now need Senate approval. If the Senate approves these bills, it must be passed again in a consecutive legislative session by both the House and Senate. From that point, it is up to the voters to put these bills through.
Pennsylvania has faced a slew of sexual abuse scandals flooding out of the Catholic Church in recent years. The most notable, a grand jury report that called out over 300 priests for sexually abusing over 1,000 children spanning several decades, spurred a wave of sexual abuse claims filed against the Catholic Church.
However, the Catholic Church is not the only Pennsylvanian institution facing sex abuse scandals. Attorney Stewart Eisenberg has amassed hundreds of allegations from men claiming they were sexually abused as Boy Scouts within Scouting programs in Pennsylvania. Abused in Scouting, the national legal movement Eisenberg is a leading member of, have already filed a lawsuit in the Pennsylvania courts on behalf of a man claiming his Scoutmaster abused him as a child.
To read the Delaware County Daily Time’s full report, click here. To learn more about your legal rights and hold the Boy Scouts of America accountable for their negligence to protect children from sexual predators, contact Abused in Scouting’s legal team today at 1.888.99.SCOUT.