February 21, 2012 By O. Kay Henderson
Iowans who were sexually abused as children would have more time to file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser if a bill pending in the Iowa Senate becomes law.
Today, someone who was sexually abused as a child must file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser after they turn 18 — and before they turn 19. Bill LaHay of Des Moines says when he was a child, he was abused by a Catholic priest and he’s urging legislators to change the law.
“Anything that offers a person — a survivor, a victim — more time to come to terms with that is a good thing,” LaHay says.
Under the bill, victims of child sexual abuse would have nine more years to file a lawsuit against their abuser seeking damages — right up until the victim reaches the age of 29. LaHay says few 18-year-olds understand the consequences of the abuse they may have suffered as a child.
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