Support Candidates Who Support Protecting Children

October 27, 2010

Anyone with a television, radio or a Twitter account knows the November 2 election is fast approaching.

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) believes its readers should be aware of a candidate, Jon Husted, who is running for statewide office in Ohio, Secretary of State, for his work against survivors and the passage of strong statutes of limitation legislation for the protection of children and a window that would have allowed access to justice. (In like manner, NSAC would be pleased to make known those legislators running for office who support survivors. Please see our note at the end of this editorial.)

NSACís opposition to Jon Husted is based on Mr. Hustedís actions during the 2005 battle in Ohio for legislation to extend the statute of limitations for reporting and filing suit for sexual abuse and a window that would have allowed those for whom the statute had passed to have their day in court.

When the legislative process for the formulation and passage of Senate Bill 17 began, Ohio had legislation on the books that allowed a victim of sexual abuse to file suit within two years after his or her 18th birthday.

Senate Bill 17 proposed a 20 year extension of the statute of limitations and a one year window.

In 2005, the Dayton (Ohio) affiliate hand delivered 100 personal letters to then Speaker of the (Ohio) House, Jon Husted.

Upon receipt of the letters, Mr. Husted unequivocally pledged his support for Senate Bill 17.

Following the testimony of survivors, Senate Bill 17 unanimously passed the Ohio Senate Ė a feat nearly unheard of in legislation battles.

When the bill went to the Ohio House, Mr. Husted, who had the opportunity to use his considerable influence as Speaker of the House to shepherd legislation to vastly increase protection of children, buckled to the Bishops of Ohio.

The Bishops prevailed and with the Ohio Catholics Conference doing the heavy lifting as the front men the bill was gutted. The bill that passed had a 12 year extension of the statute putting the final reporting age in most cases at age 30Ė no where near the 30, 40, 50 and 60 years we now know it takes for survivors to publicly reveal their abuse and take on court actions.

In addition, the window was dumped for an ill conceived but Bishop backed civil registry. This registry approach is fraught with the issue of constitutionality. No matter, with the influence of Jon Husted it passed. The losers in this process were and continue to be children.

NSAC does not believe Jon Hustedís alliance with the Bishops of Ohio should be forgotten and it certainly should not be rewarded.

Many newspapers in Ohio have endorsed Jon Husted and many legislators and public figures have as well.

But we had been down the unpopular road before.

NSAC asks you if you are an Ohioan to please research Jon Hustedís record before you vote. The Internet allows for easy searching. There are no excuses for not being an informed voter. (Please see the news story and the link to antoher story we provide at the end of this editorial.)

NSAC asks you if you have family, friends, business or organizational associates in Ohio to please contact them to let them know of the 2005 legislation battle and Jon Hustedís flip flop which put children in harmís way.

If you believe that children should be protected and legislators should do everything in their power to stand with children and against forces that have not protected them, then do not vote to elect Jon Husted to another office in the state of Ohio.

Jon Husted had the power as Speaker of the House to see that Ohio Senate Bill 17 passed in the House in the same form it passed in the Ohio Senate. That kind of opportunity does not come to many. To let it slip away, to let it be corrupted, to let it fall on fallow ground is not what public servants are elected to do.

He had the opportunity to stand up for children but he chose to stand with those who had covered up crimes, shuffled predators from parish to parish, and who sought and fought to keep their secrets locked up tight Ė the Bishops of Ohio.

Children need everyoneís protection. Those in public office have heavy and solemn responsibilities. Acting each and every day in any way possible to protect the weak and vulnerable should be one of the easiest parts of the job.

NSAC urges the defeat of Jon Husted because when the test came to protect children he folded.

It is possible to protect children and provide access to justice with good laws.

To do it takes good men and women with courage.

To know what courage is, legislators need only look to the survivors.

Please take your vote seriously no matter in which state you cast it.

Please find out if those you are voting for have acted in the best interest of protecting children.

Kristine Ward, Chair, NSAC

Please note: If you wish the readers of NSAC News to know of legislators who have stood with survivors and the reform of laws that keep survivors from their day in court or those legislators who have worked against survivors, please send us an email and we will let our readers know.

We offer the following link as a place to begin your research of Jon Husted as well as the following article that appeared in the National Catholic Reporter.


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