The sexual abuse of children is a public health epidemic, increasing the risk of alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress and suicide in adulthood. It sometimes takes decades for victims to come to terms with the abuse, but our current laws only give victims a narrow window in which to seek justice.
Recent surveys show one out of every two Minnesotans knows someone who has been sexually abused, and 10 percent of Minnesotans were sexually abused as a child. As a network of advocacy centers across Minnesota that provides support services to victims of sexual abuse, we see the effects of sexual abuse every day.
A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced the Minnesota Child Victims Act (SF 534/HF 681) that would lift the veil of protection that many abusers and the institutions that ignore the abuse hide behind by eliminating the civil statute of limitations.
This legislation acknowledges the healing process and allows survivors to confront the abusers or the institutions that facilitated the abuse on their own timetable. The Minnesota Child Victims Act encourages victims of child sex abuse to come forward and potentially identify abusers who have never been brought to justice.
Seeking justice and protecting children is not a partisan issue; it is a moral issue that should unite us all. A diverse coalition of child advocacy organization and law enforcement officers has endorsed the Minnesota Child Victims Act. We encourage the Legislature to join us and support the Minnesota Child Victims Act.
Executive Director for Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault