How long is too long to report a rape in your state?
Advocates want to end the statute of limitations on civil and criminal litigation against rapists and child molesters.
New York’s Rape is Rape bill—which would include forced oral and anal penetration in the legal definition of rape—suffered a huge setback last week when a major Republican backer of the bill, New York State Senator Catharine Young, retracted her support, arguing that juries will reject the idea that forced anal or oral penetration constitutes rape and refuse to convict.
That notion is a slap in the face to people like Andrew Willis.
“I may not have a vagina, but I was raped as a child,” Willis tells TakePart.
It took Willis decades and a 2008 suicide attempt before he finally came to terms with his abuse.
Then, he became an advocate.
Willis is the cofounder of Stop Abuse Campaign. His organization is at the forefront of attempting to bring New York’s (and the rest of America’s) rape laws into the 21st century. Not only is Stop Abuse Campaign one of the primary backers of New York’s Rape is Rape bill, it is making a nationwide push to end civil and criminal statutes of limitations on reporting crimes of sexual violence—particularly sexual crimes against children.
In Minnesota, Stop Abuse Campaign is backing the Child Victims Act, which would end the statute of limitations on civil litigation against perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Minnesota law currently states that child victims have until six years after they turn 18 to bring legal action against their attacker.
Willis argues that allowing civil litigation isn’t just about compensating victims—it can be a means of preventing further abuse:
Read the full story on takepart.com
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