California Bill to Help Sexual-Abuse Victims Sits on Governor’s Desk

Ms. Magazine

September 27, 2013 by Melissa McGlensey

California Senate Bill 131, otherwise known as the The Child Victims Act, was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year–but it’s still sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. He has until October 13 to sign the bill, veto it or let it pass into law without signing.

The governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, is under pressure to veto the bill from Catholic dioceses and other Church officials, as well as from organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and USA Swimming–all entities that could face lawsuits if the bill is passed into law.

The Child Victims Act would expand the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to seek monetary damages in civil courts. If the bill becomes law, victims would be able to sue institutions that failed to adequately protect them from sexual predators.

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