March 5, 2018
Child sexual abuse is a serious offense that has long-lasting, damaging effects on the survivors which is why it needs significant attention. The consequences of such incidents include serious mental health problems and harmful behaviors. With the recent #MeToo Movement, sexual abuse has become one of the most talked about topics in the United States. Child sexual abuse is being given significant attention by the lawmakers recently because of the Larry Nassar case that has stirred the nation. The reliability of the law on adults for reporting such incidents is proving to be a failure, and hence new bills are focusing on addressing the loopholes prevalent in the current child sexual abuse laws.
The Senate Bill 871 gives the victims a right to bring forward second-degree criminal charges related to sexual misconduct at any point. Whereas for people looking to bring forward third-degree criminal charges related to sexual misconduct, the deadline will be changed to the 48th birthday of the survivor.
The Senate Bill 872 will allow the victims to file civil suits even after 30 years of the assault or after 30 years of their 18th birthday.
According to the House Bill 5659 and the Senate Bill 873, the people seen as being responsible for reporting any sexual abuse incidents are employees of the victim’s postsecondary educational institution, assistant coaches, sports coaches, and any trainers of volunteers that had a role in the victim’s youth athletics.
The Senate Bill 874 puts forward an increase in the penalty implemented in cases where the reporters have failed to report the incident to $1000 or imprisonment for one year.
The Senate Bill 877 puts an end to any governmental immunity that is possessed by people or entities that have participated in the act of sexual abuse in any way.
The Senate Bill 878 and The House Bill 5660 also penalizes those individuals that are seen to carry any material that is seen to be relevant to child sexual abuse. Any child pornography material possessed by individuals can result in penalties.
The House Bill 5658 gives the prosecutors a chance to bring in evidence that is related to earlier sexual assaults for a particular case during the sexual assault prosecutions.
The introduction of these new laws is thought to be helpful in decreasing the number of child sexual abuse incidents that take place in a particular jurisdiction. This new movement against child sexual abuse is just the beginning, and as more and more victims are coming forward, the whole nation realizes the importance of fighting against this harmful culture and eliminating the stigma that surrounds this subject.
If any of your loved ones are facing a difficult time in reporting prior or current sexual abuse, firms such as The Cifarelli Law Firm have a team of professionals who can help you throughout the journey and can fight to protect you.