Child Victims of Abuse: Statute of Limitations (SB 131, California legislation)

Restorative Justice International

Since we have been vocal regarding sexual abuse of children and the need for restorative justice we believe that this legislation should be cited here at RJI. SB 131 authored by California Senator Jim Beall, and co-authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, gives a voice to victims of abuse that is needed. The legislation is currently in the California Assembly. A vote will be taken soon on the Assembly floor.

We continue to be believe that each offender should be held accountable for the crimes he has committed. This is one way to provide relief for victims of abuse when it seems the justice system closes the door on such relief. Should there be a statute of limitations in cases of child victims of abuse? We are not so sure.

RJI believes victims-driven restorative justice should be made available to every victim of crime, including cases of sexual abuse in the U.S. and globally. Restitution is not the only response to these crimes against children that is necessary, but in many cases it seems to be the only response. Ask victims of abuse what they would want and through our experience at RJI, and through our research, we have found that victims want far more than monetary compensation from their abusers, and those who have enabled the abuse. But this is an important step through this legislation in California. California is not alone in considering legislative change similar to SB 131. These battles are happening around the U.S. with strong opposition.

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