Dinniman Introduces Bill for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Legislation

By Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
January 19, 2012




PHONE: 610-692-2112

Dinniman Introduces Bill for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Legislation Opens 2-Year ‘Window’ for Civil Actions against Abusers

WEST CHESTER (January 19) – State Sen. Andy Dinniman has introduced legislation that would give victims of childhood sexual abuse another chance to file a civil action against their alleged perpetrator if their deadline for filing such a suit has expired.

Dinniman said he is introducing the bill because the current statute of limitations expires upon the victim’s 30th birthday, despite the fact that it often takes many years and even decades for victims of childhood sexual abuse to confront and fully process what happened to them as children.

“The horrific headlines of late focus attention on the reality that there are adults in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania who were victimized as children and have sometimes only now, often through support and therapy, come to grips with what happened to them,” Dinniman said. “Even though these adults are past 30, I believe they still deserve their day in court and the ability to confront and seek retribution from those who sexually assaulted them.”

Modeled after Delaware’s Child Victims Act of 2007, Dinniman said his bill would specify a one-time, two-year period for when such civil suits could be filed.

Dinniman said Delaware and California passed bills and other states are considering the same because experts identify several compelling reasons for “two-year window” legislation including the identification of previously unknown child predators to the public and the subsequent deterrence of future cases. In California, more than 300 new perpetrators’ identities were released to the public during its one-year window for civil claims.

Dinniman’s bill is supported by Justice for Pa Kids, located in East Whiteland.

“Expanding the statutes of limitations for sexually abused victims holds predators accountable and also allows more victims to be identified,” said organization president and co-founder Maureen Martinez. “When a victim publicly names their predators, it not only serves justice but can actually prevent future abuse by the same perpetrator. Perpetrators never have just one victim – just look at the allegations against Jerry Sandusky put forth by about a dozen boys.”

Organization co-founder Bob Riley of Tredyffrin said, “The Commonwealth needs more legislators like Senator Dinniman who truly want to protect our children. Every senator should want to back this bill and get it to the floor for a vote as soon as possible.”

To better protect the rights of future victims of childhood sexual abuse, Dinniman’s bill would also extend the statute of limitations for civil action arising from childhood sexual abuse from age 30 to age 50.

For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s West Chester Office at (610) 692-2112, or e-mail








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