State senate committee approves measure to give sexual abuse survivors more time to sue accusers

Written by on April 22, 2021

State senate committee approves measure to give sexual abuse survivors more time to sue accusers

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

April 22, 2021

Image by Michael Burkholder from Pixabay 

A state senate committee has approved a measure to give sexual abuse survivors up to two years to sue their abusers if their cases were timed out of the legal system.

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The 11-to-3 vote by the chamber’s Judiciary Committee was crucial for those who want to see a so-called lookback window written into law this year.

Childhood survivors who are adults now must file a civil case by the time they turn 55 years old.

Research shows social pressures, non-disclosure agreements and other factors often keep survivors from coming forward for decades.

Committee Chairwoman Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) was among those who voted to give them another two years of legal access, saying she wants to be able to “look victims in the eye.”

The proposal must face another vote in the full Senate and House.

If approved, Gov. Tom Wolf would then have to sign it for the measure to become law.

Pennsylvania is hoping to join seven other states and the District of Columbia with lookback windows in place.

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