PA--Abuse bill moves in PA legislature; Victims respond
By David Clohessy
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
April 5, 2016
We’re glad Pennsylvania lawmakers are finally moving to reform the state’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations but disappointed that because there’s no civil window, hundreds who have committed or concealed child sex crimes will remain hidden and escape responsibility.
It’s safe and easy for lawmakers to ‘crack down’ on those who assault kids and hide crimes years down the road. But that alone is irresponsible. Steps must be taken now to expose those who have or are hurting kids and concealing crimes today. That’s tougher, because it takes real courage to take on purportedly powerful individuals like Catholic bishops and allegedly powerful lobbyists like insurance companies. But that’s what must happen if kids are to be protected right now in Pennsylvania.
We hope other lawmakers will insist that a civil window be enacted now, so that coaches, teachers and ministers who are molesting or have molested kids, or have hidden or are hiding those crimes, will face consequences for their wrongdoing and be stopped from further wrongdoing.
But no matter what lawmakers in Harrisburg do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions in Pennsylvania to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.