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PCAR calls for legislation to establish a statutory window for victims of sexual abuse to seek civil justice

HARRISBURG, PA: PCAR joins with survivors and advocates in support of state legislation that would establish a statutory window for time-barred victims to seek civil justice this legislative session.

We and the network of rape crisis centers throughout the Commonwealth are devastated and outraged to learn that our efforts to receive long-awaited justice have been thwarted.

Justice demands immediate action. Survivors must be given an opportunity to hold those who commit sexual violence accountable. The emotional, physical, and economic impact this fight has had on survivors throughout the Commonwealth is immeasurable.

Survivors of child sexual abuse, including many of whom have courageously testified, traveled, protested, rallied, held meetings, sent letters, and talked with policy makers about their abuse over many years and legislative sessions, deserve better.

Enough is enough. A statutory window could be introduced, passed, and signed by the Governor this legislative session. We know members of the General Assembly share this sense of urgency. We implore House and Senate members to join with us today to fight for the window, to fight for survivors.

This window is needed now:

Of the 301 victims who testified before the Grand Jury, 299 have no legal recourse without it.

The window is recommended in every Grand Jury report and addresses one of the most fundamental needs survivors repeatedly express: Time. Time to heal, to seek help, to make sense of what happened to them, and finally, to take steps to hold those who caused them harm accountable. Time to recover from setbacks and systems that make it difficult for survivors to come forward—systems that often re-victimize survivors in both overt and covert ways, both knowingly and unknowingly.

The window creates a pathway to justice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and could help alleviate the emotional and economic burden that survivors have had to suffer and shoulder alone for far too long.

Survivors have been at the forefront of this movement in Pennsylvania. They are demanding justice. We need to listen and act now. Please join us in supporting a statutory window for civil justice. 

Help is available to survivors and their loved ones, who we know are struggling in light of this news and from the toll this process has taken for so many years. Call 1-888-772-7227 for support.