[Media Statement] Statute of Limitations Reform in California is Leading to Justice and Healing


February 19, 2021

A little more than a year ago, AB 218 was signed into law in California, opening a three-year “window to justice” that would revive claims that had been barred by the state’s archaic and predator-friendly statute of limitations laws. Since that bill went into effect, we have seen hundreds of new survivors come forward, exposing uncomfortable truths about hidden perpetrators and their enablers in California. To us, there is no question that this law is providing a path towards justice, healing, and prevention.

The United States Conference of Catholics Bishops created the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002 in response to the Boston Globe’s exposure of widespread child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of that city. While the reforms aimed at in that charter – most notably zero-tolerance and open transparency from Church officials – have yet to be fully realized, exemplified by the fact that 19 years after its passage Catholic officials in Fresno and San Francisco still refuse to publish a list of accused clergy. However, empowered survivors have continued to come forward and press for more accountability from the institutions that enabled the abusers.

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