House Passes Bill Allowing More Child Abuse Survivors to File Charges
By Sarah Kallis
March 13, 2020
The Georgia House passed a bill on Thursday that would allow more survivors of childhood sex abuse to file charges against their abusers and organizations that covered it up.
House Bill 479 would raise the age limit for victims to file abuse charges from 23 to 38. Under current law, if victims realize childhood abuse has caused them psychological problems, they have two years to take legal action. HB 479 would extend that time limit to four years. It would also allow victims to take legal action against organizations that knew this abuse was happening, and did not report it or covered it up. “This bill does three things — three things that stand up and give a voice to victims of child sexual abuse,” said state Rep. Heath Clark, a Republican from Warner Robins.
The Georgia Catholic Conference, Georgia Municipal Association and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia have all voiced opposition to the bill.The Boy Scouts of America opposed the 2018 version of the bill.