PA Catholics for Extending Statute of Limitations for Victims of Sex Abuse
This petition had 3,565 supporters
Please join me in enabling victims of child sex abuse get justice!
A bill is currently under consideration in the Pennsylvania Congress that would provide an extension to the existing statute of limitations on civil suits in child sex abuse cases, House Bill 1947. This bill would provide a much needed window of opportunity for individuals who experienced the trauma of being sexually abused as children to consider coming forward to tell their story and get justice. Click here for more information on the HB 1947.
I believe our state desperately needs this legislation for the following reasons:
- Only 1 in 10 victims of sex abuse come forward before they age out of the statute of limitations.
- The grand jury report of the sex abuse in Altoona-Johnstown shows that this problem continues to be an issue in our state. Read the Altoona Johnstown Grand Jury Report.
- Scientific Studies have shown that experiencing sex abuse as a child increases one's likelihood of committing suicide by an extimated 10 - 13x. PubMed
However, I was appalled to find out that the Catholic Church, of which I am an active member, has mounted an intense lobbying effort to block this much-needed legislation. Here are some examples of the actions the leadership has taken:
- Bullying legislators who supported the bill. Philly.com article.
- Spreading misinformation about the content of the bill. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
- Pressuring parishioners into opposing the bill. The Morning Call.
I am heartbroken that the church leadership has opted for this tactic. This bill does not target the church, but rather seeks to provide an outlet for all victims, whether they have been abused in a private school, home or any other space where they should have been safe.
Additionally, I believe that the leadership is misrepresenting the body of believers and the will of Pennsylvania's citizens. There is a diversity of opinions within the church and many Catholic lay persons, along with other citizens of our state, do want this bill to be passed.
We believe the goal of the church is to "care for the least of these" (Matthew 25:40), not to hide perpetrators of abuse from justice. We believe our church contributions should not be used to pay lobbyists. We want our kids to be protected and we want to right the wrongs of the past.
Please sign this petition to let our legislators know that the Catholic Conference lobby is misrepresenting the will of Catholics and others in Pennsylvania and that the citizens of this state want justice for abuse victims.
Today: Mariya Alexandra is counting on you
Mariya Alexandra Khandros Jackson needs your help with “Stewart Greenleaf: PA Catholics for Common Sense Legislation”. Join Mariya Alexandra and 3,564 supporters today.