Maryland Bill Proposes Removal of Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse Claims
Proposed legislation is finally making headway through Annapolis, as survivors of child sexual abuse bravely make their stories known and call for action. The bill, known as Child Victims Act of 2023 (House Bill 1), would eliminate the statue of limitations—or the amount of time someone has to file a claim—on child sex abuse cases. Over the past few years, the bill previously lost momentum at the Senate review stage. Now, in light of more and more survivors coming forward with their stories of abuse, the bill has regained speed, aiming to allow survivors of any age, no matter when they wish to take action, to do so.
In December 2022, survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Baltimore Archdiocese clergy members demanded the release of a report compiled by the Maryland Attorney General following a grand jury investigation into alleges abuses of minors. Advocates and survivors are pushing for even more transparency and accountability, vying for a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse and an open-door policy for survivors to make their claims.
“The goal is, basically, that we eradicate the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse, allow them to sue the institutions and individuals that have harmed them,” notes Charles County Delegate C.T. Wilson, D-District 28, who is sponsoring the bill.
Under the current law, sexual abuse survivors have until the 38th birthday to file a claim, or within three years of a criminal conviction of their abuser. The new Child Victims Act of 2023 bill aims to lift those restrictions entirely.
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