Lynch extends statute of limitations on self-reporting of child abuse

PORTSMOUTH — A new law, signed by Governor John Lynch on Tuesday, Sept. 2, extends the statute of limitations for residents in civil cases to report they have been victims of child abuse.

Jennifer Devarie, Public Policy Specialist for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said victims now have until the age of 30 to report that they were sexually abused as a child.

“In 2005, SB75 passed and extended the civil statute by three years giving seven years from the age of 18, making it to age 25. Three years later we came back and extended it to 30,” Devarie said. “There are a lot of states who have completely eliminated the limitations for both criminal and civil cases. Legislators realized the trauma involved in being assaulted by someone they trusted. We are taking baby steps in New Hampshire but we are increasing it.”

Devarie testified at the hearing that preceded SB311 being passed Tuesday.

“The original bill gave victims to age 40, to match the criminal statue,” she said. “It was amended in the Senate so it’s a compromise. An increase from 25 to 30 might not seem like much of an increase, but we look at where a survivor is in their lives as far as being able to disclose the abuse, being able to face the abuser. Survivors are generally sexually abused by people in their lives. Most are someone they trust or a family friend. It’s in their 30s, sometimes closer to 40s that most people start talking about the abuse. We know that survivors have a difficult time disclosing and often don’t do so until later in life. Hopefully this will help some in seeking the justice they need.”

Amanda Grady, Public Policy Director with the NHCADSV said she recognizes legislators’ commitment to this issue.

“During the 2008 Session the legislature closed many loopholes within our sexual assault statutes,” Grady said. “New Hampshire’s sexual assault laws are now some of the strongest in the nation. We applaud the Senate and House for their ongoing commitment to the issue of childhood sexual abuse.”

Before the statutory change in 2005, a childhood victim only had until the age of 21 to file suit. The new bill will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

With assistance from NHCADSV, “The Child Victims Act Coalition,” a group devoted to seeking justice for child sex abuse victims in New Hampshire, helped to move the legislation forward.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS/80903025

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Age and Inquiry

“The original bill gave victims to age 40, to match the criminal statue,” she said. “It was amended in the Senate so it’s a compromise. An increase from 25 to 30 might not seem like much of an increase, but we look at where a survivor is in their lives as far as being able to disclose the abuse, being able to face the abuser. Survivors are generally sexually abused by people in their lives. Most are someone they trust or a family friend. It’s in their 30s, sometimes closer to 40s that most people start talking about the abuse. We know that survivors have a difficult time disclosing and often don’t do so until later in life. Hopefully this will help some in seeking the justice they need.”

So basically, this means anyone over the age of 30, who has not reported the sexual abuse that took place at home, whether fostered/adopted, or not, that person can kiss justice good-bye?

step in the right direction

I did a check on this statue several months ago, and it seemed that most states only recognized to 3 years past  emancipation (can't remember the term),

At least this is an acknowledgement that it's hard to report when you're living with your abusers, and that it might take time before you feel empowered to do so.
I hope other states follow suit. 

Stepping out here...

My daughter has a history of false allegations...  but the one who REALLY abused her is in prison, where he should be.
I'm just scared shit-less of her lies, not her truths.
I'm sorry if this upsets anyone here; it just seems like a lose/lose situation for any and all sides of adoption!  NONE of
this would even be in existence if not for ADOPTION!

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

Understandable...

False allegations/accusations are indeed a very scary thing.  [See Parental Alienation video to see how easily it can be done by anyone:  http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/20506] 

It's the very tactic some use to get children away from a parent, and placed in the foster-care system in the first place.   

Record numbers of young children are being taken from their parents and adopted - sometimes unjustly - to meet government targets, it is claimed today.

Each year some 1,300 babies under a month old are placed in care before adoption, compared with 500 when the Government came to power, BBC Radio 4’s Face the Facts claims today.

The programme is told that there are now more than 100 cases of possible miscarriages of justice in which children have been forcibly or unjustly adopted.

It says that the number of parents in England who have lost their children, despite insufficient evidence that they were causing them harm, has reached record levels.

One reason, according to social workers, is that they are under pressure to meet government adoption targets – in line with ministers’ policy for more children in care to be adopted.

At the same time, it is claimed, parents are not always given a proper chance to challenge adoptions because of the short time limit for appeals and the secrecy of the family courts. Lawyers say that hearings in private fuel parents’ sense of injustice and can in some cases breed bad practice, preventing them from properly defending themselves.   [From:  "Children taken from parents and adopted to 'meet ministry targets'", Aug 2007, http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article2317284.ece]

More about adoption incentives and targets can be read here:  http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/19220 

Statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse

To see the various state regulations with regards to statutes of limitation in case of child sexual abuse go here.

Thank you!

I always appreciate the facts being posted in this forum.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it." M.A.
 One Step Up From Bottom
Teddy

Thanks for the Facts.

My mind is getting feeble in my old age.  I remember it varying a lot, but for some reason I walked away with the impression it was very limited after the date of the offense and when you ceased to be a minor.

I should have added that link myself - lunchtime is too short...

Pound Pup Legacy