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March 15, 2019 | Number of The Day
Length in years of proposed new statute of limitations for adult victims of sexual assault

“Sexual assault and rape are unique, horrific and violent crimes, particularly when it happens to a child. There is too much understanding today about the suppression of childhood trauma, too many testimonials on the internal turmoil that prevents a survivor from coming forward … The standard statute of limitations, simply, is woefully inadequate,” said Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex).

Yesterday, the state Senate passed a bill, sponsored by Vitale and Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), that would expand the statute of limitations from the current two years to seven years for adult victims of sexual assault.

Additionally, if an incident of sexual assault occurred before a victim turned 18, that person would be able to file a claim any time before they turned 55.

The bill also provides for a seven-year discovery rule, meaning the victim would have seven years from the time they connected the trauma they suffered to the abuse they endured, to pursue justice.