Melanie Blow comments on the New York Post’s January 30th story. A story that leaves victims of child rape with no recourse to justice and in many cases powerless to stop their rapists raping other children. Melanie Blow is an incest survivor working to change the laws in New York State and beyond through the passage of the Child Victims Act. The Child Victims Act will allow justice for rape survivors and enable the police to do their job of protecting our children.
And please leave Melanie a comment of support, or a question below in the comments.
By Melanie Blow
“Statutes of limitations strike a balance between providing a reasonable time for victims to bring their claims while assuring that defendants have a fair opportunity to defend themselves before evidence is lost or memories fade,” Koeltl said “In this case, the statutes of limitations have expired decades ago, and no exceptions apply.”
Statutes of Limitations for crime are indeed a fundamental part of the legal foundation for the Western world. So is the notion that women and children are the property of their husband or father, with no inherent rights. Laws governing slavery are a huge part of the foundational laws American law is based on. And let’s not even go into how many statutes we have governing the rights and responsibilities of livestock owners.
Over the last forty years, we’ve reached broad agreement that our society is healthier and stronger if we give women full rights and responsibilities in it- if we acknowledge them as more than their husbands’ property. In that same time, we’ve proven conclusively that children grow into better, stronger members of society if their rights to physical and emotional safety are recognized.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study did a fantastic job at quantifying this.
In making these changes, we quietly and slowly whittled away at laws that relegate women and children to the same status as livestock. Our Statute of Limitations for childhood sexual abuse is another one of these vestiges of a different era, and it needs to go.
A recent study revealed it takes child sexual abuse survivors slightly more than 21 years before they start talking about their abuse. This means statutes of limitations for these crimes do not strike any kind of a reasonable balance for anything, they deny the “average” survivor justice.
Period, end of story.
And that’s exactly what happened with these 34 students who had their day in court denied to them.
Not only are there now 34 survivors who have had all hopes of justice in the courts dashed, there are an untold number of abusers out there who have never experienced legal consequences for their actions. They are still abusing children.
These survivors cannot stop them abusing children.
The laws cannot stop them abusing children.
Until we work together to change the laws.