New Jersey Lawmakers Push Bill To Amend Child Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations

New Jersey Lawmakers Push Bill To Amend Child Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations

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CITY, MATT PETRILLO FOR CBS-3 “EYEWITNESS NEWS”. MATT, THANK YOU. LAW MAKERS IN NEW JERSEY CAME TOGETHER TO CONTINUE TO PUSH A BILL THAT WOULD AMEND CHILD SEX ABUSE STATUTE OF THE LIMITATIONS IN THE STATE FOR CIVIL LAWSUITS. FORMER U.S.A. GYMNASTIC ATHLETE AND SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR TESTIFYING TODAY IN HOPES OF HAVING A HAND IN CHANGE. OUR CLEVE BRYAN IS IN TRENTON RIGHT NOW AT THE STATE HOUSE WHERE THE HEARING TOOK PLACE, CLEVE, GOOD EVENING. REPORTER: GOOD EVENING, UKEE. THAT HEARING TOOK MORE THAN FOUR HOURS, AND WE HEARD FROM EXPERTS THAT TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT WHEN YOU OPEN UP SEXUAL ABUSE CASES EVEN IN CIVIL COURT NOT ONLY DOES IT HELP VICTIM SEEK DAMAGES BUT IT STARTS TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH ABOUT SEXUAL PREDATORS. I WAS ALWAYS ABUSED AND ASHAMED AS A GYMNAST. REPORTER: JESSICA HOWARD IS U.S.A. GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAMER AND SURVIVED SEXUAL ABUSE BY NOTORIOUS DOCTOR LARRY NASSAR. SHE WAS AMONG 50 PEOPLE WHO TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AS THEY CONSIDER A MEASURE TO EXPAND WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS TO HOLD THEIR ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE IN CIVIL COURT. THE VICTIMS ALREADY OUT THERE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET THAT LITTLE BIT OF EMPOWERMENT AND THAT FEELING THAT IT WASN’T IN MY HEAD, IT HAPPENED AND IT WAS WRONG AND THAT IS WHERE YOU CAN START THE ROAD TO RECOVERY. REPORTER: BILL BEFORE LAWMAKERS WILL ALLOW CHILD VICTIMS, UNTIL THE VICTIM TURNS 55 YEARS OLD OR WITHIN THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS OF REALIZING THEY SUFFERED ABUSE. THAT WOULD HELP THOSE WITH SUPPRESSED TRAUMA TO HAVE A PAST TO SEEK DAMAGES IN COURT. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS JUST TWO YEARS FROM THE ACT OF ABUSE WHICH BILL SPONSOR SENATOR JOE VITALE SAYS ISN’T FAIR TO VICTIMS. EVERY SINGLE DAY WE SAY UNLESS THEY CAN DISCLOSE THEIR ASSAULT AND ABUSE TO THOSE AROUND THEM AND FACE THEIR RAPIST OR ABUSER IN TWO YEARS THEIR TRAUMA DOES NOT MATTER. REPORTER: SOME OPPOSE IT THAT RETROACTIVELY ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS TO SUE INDIVIDUALS, CHARITIES, ORGANIZATIONS FOR SITUATIONS THEY MAY HAVE NEVER KNOWN ABOUT IN THE PAST IS A PROBLEM. CATHOLIC CHURCH, EMBROILED IN THE WIDE REACHING ABUSE UP INVESTIGATION BY NEW JERSEY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT WANT IT TO APPLY TO ACCUSATIONS PRIOR TO THE MID 90’S. NEW JERSEY CATHOLIC CONFERENCE SAID THEY SUPPORT OVER ARCHING GOAL OF ALLOWING VICTIMS MORE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK JUSTICE. FIRST OF ALL WE WANT VICTIMS TO KNOW THAT WE’RE CONCERN, WE WANT TO HELP THEM HEEL, WE WANT TO PROVIDE BETWEEN SAYS. REPORTER: AT TODAY’S SENATE BILL ADVANCES THERE IS AN AN ACCOMPANYING ASSEMBLY BUILDING THROUGH COMMITTEE. IF THEY BECOME LAW IT WOULD BE ENACTED IN DECEMBER.

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