Locals rally in Harrisburg to change Statute of Limitations
By Carolyn Donaldson
We Are Central PA
April 11, 2016
Local advocates rallied in Harrisburg to change the laws to better protect child sex abuse victims. The rally was organized after the priest sex abuse scandal in our region.
Victim advocates and survivors kicked off National Crime Victims' Rights Week at the state capitol Monday.
As Victim Advocate Diane Brannigan says, "The whole thing is more for people to discuss this, talk about this, not make people feel so shamed if this did happen to them."
Attorney Josh Shapiro added, "To see so many victims, survivors and advocates coming out of the shadows, coming together gives me great hope."
Leaders from victim advocate organizations stood before a crowd, demanding change.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)'s CEO Delilah Rumberg added, "Our legislators can no longer ignore it. They cannot ignore the victims and survivors and advocates."
A group of victim advocates from our area stood on the stairs in the rotunda, signs held high, positive that this would be the day change would finally happen.
"Thirteen years it's been. Thirteen years since we've been able to have a vote on this. Victims are waiting," said Rep. Mark Rozzi.
Rozzi of Berks County is a victim of child sexual abuse in the catholic church. He has been fighting to eliminate the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases.
As Rozzi stated, "I believe that it's going to be a tough vote and I believe that none of my colleagues want to support pedophiles."
Last week, House committee Chairman Ron Marisco introduced a bill that would raise the age of the statute of limitations from 30 to 50 years old. Rozzi is introducing an amendment that would make that bill retroactive.
Late Monday, the House approved Rozzi's amendment -- which would allow retroactive civil lawsuits. The bill still needs full House and Senate approval.