A bill to expand protections for victims of childhood sex abuse recently cleared the Georgia State House. The legislation would extend the statute of limitations for adults who were sexually abused as children to be able to bring a claim against their abusers as adults.
The proposed legislation was passed unanimously and sent to the Georgia state Senate.
What the proposed legislation would do
Statutes of limitation refer to the time limits victims have to bring claims against those responsible for harming them in a variety of personal injury situations. The bill would extend the deadline for victims to bring a lawsuit against their childhood abuser from the age of 23 to the age of 38. The legislation would allow victims to bring a claim against alleged abusers up to a year after realizing the present-day trauma the past abuse had caused.
Additionally, the bill would also give victims a 4-year window to bring a claim against public and private organizations for employing staff who had abused the victim as a child. Victims would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the organization in question knew about the abuse and allowed it to happen under their employ and supervision of the staff member.
Only abuse that happened after 1983 would qualify under the bill. Though the bill, which would provider retroactive protections for victims, has met with some controversy, it may provide greater protections for victims of child sex abuse. Victims of childhood sexual abuse should be familiar with the legal protections available to them following the abuse they have suffered.