SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]
April 15, 2021
Colorado’s governor has signed SB 73 into law, an important piece of legislation that will protect future children from abuse and provide more current victims with a pathway to justice. We applaud this development and appreciate the many survivors who shared their stories, testified in support of this reform, and worked tirelessly with their legislative allies to get this needed bill passed.
Even though SB 73 only helps survivors whose statute of limitations has not run by January 1, 2022, when this bill takes effect, as well as future sexual assault victims, this reform demonstrates that the Colorado legislature recognizes the seriousness of this public health crisis. We are grateful that they are willing to do what they can to better protect the vulnerable and confront those who hide and enable sexual predators.
It is a fact that current and past civil statutes have protected the wrong individuals and institutions from accountability for their actions. By taking this step to reform the statute of limitations in Colorado, it is now possible for more survivors to have their day in court and for some of the costs associated with the lifelong trauma of sexual abuse to be shifted from victims and taxpayers and onto the abusers and enablers.
We are grateful to the bipartisan sponsorship and support of this needed public policy bill. In particular, thanks are owed to the many survivors who continue to advocate for still silent and suffering victims of child sexual assault. Together, they are the change for which we have been waiting.
Now that this important reform has been signed, we hope legislators in Colorado will finish the job and work to pass SB 88 immediately. By opening a civil window that will allow those whose cases were previously barred by these arbitrary statutes, not only will survivors be provided with an opportunity to experience justice and closure, but their stories can also better inform communities and institutions about how abuse occurs and how it is hidden. We hope that the good work that resulted in the passage of SB 73 will continue with SB 88.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)