S.A.V.E. (Sex Abuse Victims Emerge) Our Children
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UPDATE (4/25/19): In recent news, Delegate CT Wilson sponsored Maryland House Bill 687 which would allow victims of child sex abuse to hold their predators accountable for their crimes. The bill would eliminate the statutes of limitations for civil claims against perpetrators as well as include a two-year look-back window, which will be a time that victims in cases where the statute of limitation had expired can come forth as well.
Jena Chochrane, a survivor who attended the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last month said it best when she stated, "You as a victim sometimes get a life sentence, while the law protects perpetrators with a statute of limitations. That's not fair. We want an opportunity so that when we're brave enough to come forward, we have a platform to speak."
Several other states have begun to take consideration of the effects of those who have been affected by these unfortunate moments and have lifted the very tool that is keeping these men and women lurking.
Please support Maryland in being the next state to follow suite in providing, peace, justice, closure, and healing for the innocent who some are serving an emotional life sentence.
With the recent support for the #metoo movement, we began to see the growing impact of sexual assault in America. In more recent news, with #whyididntreport, a movement revolved around Christine Blasey Ford's claims against, newly appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault some 35 or so years ago.
Although light is being shed upon these horrific violations against women and children, the mental anguish still exists in a country that does not hold those accused, accountable for their actions.
I'm fighting to change that and I need your help. In 2017, Maryland Delegate C.T. Wilson came before the Senate committee to pass a Bill giving a chance to those who were abused as children longer times to file claims against their abusers. House Bill 642 was signed by Governor Larry Hogan on April 4, 2017 and went into effect as of October 1, 2017.
The previous Maryland law allowed 3 years after the incident occurred. So this is progress, but there's still work to be done. Bill 642 increases the window of time a victim of child sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit from age 25 to 38, however is NOT retroactive.
So like myself, that leaves many victims feeling victimized by the system again.
The #whyididntreport movement is so powerful because we all have very understandable circumstances and in some cases consequences that made reporting not an option.
My sexual and physical abuse encounters occurred starting at the age of 12. I will never forget my stepfather putting a pillow over my face as I cried while he performed oral sex on me and afterwards forcing me to perform it on him.
I will never forget how I couldn't eat at the kitchen table without him walking up from behind me as I ate, fondling my breast.
I will never forget how I used to be afraid to walk out of my bathroom in the morning for fear that he would be standing in the hall waiting to shove his tounge down my throat. Yes, this happened frequently.
I will never forget the beatings with extension cords and work belts just because it was a good day to beat Samira...one time in particular dragging me out of my bed to come in the basement where there were chairs set up in front of a sofa where I was forced to get naked and lay flat while my mother and siblings were seated and made to watch as if it was opening night at the movies.
I will never forget how I was eventually given away to family I did not know in another state with just trash bags of my clothes one day after school, never seeing my home again and siblings for a few years, just to come back after begging my mother for her love and it happening again...the physical and sexual abuse. Only this time I get moved out of the store we were living in, and sent to his parents basement to live. All this after he admitted again his sexual violations of me.
I also will never forget how at that time the reason #whyididntreport is because I was more concerned for my mother and siblings and what could happen to them if I reported. I was more concerned for everyone else's livelihood before my own.
The even more troubling part to this is how my abuser told me to my face at the age of 16, in front of my mother, inside the community corner store he still currently owns, that he did what he did to me, “because I’m not his daughter.” Again...nothing done.
This is a man who still exists in a community filled with children who frequent his store daily…a store that he can open and close whenever he pleases to do inside whatever he pleases. This is NOT someone who should be in the community with the access to destroy more lives, all because he was never held accountable on the account of SOL (Statute of Limitations) laws that protect him and not his prey.
This is why we need to fight to have House Bill 642 amended to completely eliminate SOL in the state of Maryland. No abuser should be allowed to go without consequences for their actions because of a period of time that has lapsed.
No victim should feel victimized again for having the courage to speak about it when they're able. This means even if it is 35 years after the incident occurred. Whether it is 5, 10, 35, or more, it doesn't change the FACT THAT IT HAPPENED.
Please support this petition by signing and giving your support to those of us who deserve justice, as well as protect those who still have their innocence. Children have the right to expect to be protected from harm. Don't let this cycle of dysfunction continue.
Founder & Advocate, S.A.V.E. Our Children
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