The Pennsylvania Senate approved three child sex abuse bills on Wednesday that will assist clergy abuse survivors throughout the state. The bills aim to eliminate the statute of limitations for abuse survivors and allow them to file suits against their abusers. House Bill 962 would enable victims the ability to file suits until they reach 55 years of age and remove the criminal statute. Survivors and victims would also be able to receive payment for counseling through the victims’ compensation funds. House Bill 963 would create a two-year window for older abuse survivors to file claims against their abusers. The third child sex abuse bill, House Bill 1171, states that confidentiality agreements cannot prohibit an individual from disclosing any information to law enforcement officials. Before they can be enacted as law, they must pass through two sessions of the General Assembly, be signed off by the Governor, and then voted on by constituents in April 2020.
Since the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report identifying credibly accused priests, victims, survivors, and advocates have been lobbying for a change in the statute of limitations regarding child sex abuse claims. Originally, Pennsylvania legislators tabled the vote last year that would have instituted necessary amendments to the law. Now survivors may finally gain the closure they need and the ability to hold their abusers accountable for the trauma they experienced as children.
If you or a loved one endured abuse by a clergy member as a child, our Pennsylvania clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar will handle your claim with discretion and compassion. Please call us today at 215-557-0099 to schedule a free and confidential consultation or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.