PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Survivors of childhood sexual abuse came from across the country to testify in favor of a bill that would extend the statute of limitations on such cases.
Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee’s bill would extend the statute of limitations from seven years to 35 years after the victim turns 18. Many suvivors who testified in favor of the bill before the House Committee on Judiciary Tuesday night said it often takes decades to come to terms with abuse suffered as a child.
McEntee submitted a similar bill last year but it failed to get a floor vote in the House. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has already said the bill will get a “fresh look” this session.
While no one from the Diocese of Providence attended Tuesday’s hearing, the organization did submit a 15-page statement opposing the bill in its current form, saying in part, “…it complicates and impedes the administration of justice and does little to protect victims. In fact, this bill as written could make the pursuit of justice and healing more difficult, not less.”
In the above video, Eyewitness News reporter Kim Kalunian has a recap of Tuesday’s hearing.