Expanded statute of limitations for child abuse


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the retro expansion of statute of limitations for child abuse.  Yesterday’s ruling is a huge victory for survivors of past abuse and for justice.

Boston Globe:  “This is tremendous,” Durso said. “I can’t overemphasize the importance of how much this will mean to great numbers of people.” Durso said the SJC ruling will bolster advocates in other states who are seeking to expand the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in their jurisdictions.  “They’re all looking to see what we’ve done here,” he said.


SNAP:  The unanimous ruling is part of a larger, longer trend toward repealing or reforming archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations that keep being exploited by those who commit and conceal child sex crimes as a way to protect their secrets and evade consequences for their horrific acts.


The Ruling:  “..the extent of the expansion appears to be tied directly to the compelling legislative purpose underlying the act, and in particular, the apparent recognition that in many cases, victims of child abuse are not able to appreciate the extent or the cause of harm they experience as a result of sexual abuse perpetrated on them for many years after the abuse has ended.”



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