The Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) and our partners are committed to ensuring that survivors of sexual assault are afforded meaningful access to justice. A major aim of this collaboration is to enact progressive statute of limitations reform.
In 2012, the Hawai‘i State Legislature recognized that victims of child sex abuse are often unable to disclose their abuse right away and may delay disclosure well into adulthood, and even those who do disclose aren’t always able to immediately pursue justice. Therefore, a window period was opened from 2012 through 2016, during which older cases of abuse could be brought in civil court. Many survivors were able to take advantage of this change, holding offenders and responsible institutions accountable.
We are pleased to share that, this year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 2719 (Act 98), extending the window period through 2020. S.B. 2719 was signed into law by Governor David Ige on July 5, 2018.
We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the introducers and sponsors of the Senate and House versions of S.B. 2719, Senators Maile Shimabukuro, Michelle Kidani and Ron Kouchi, and Representative Linda Ichiyama; the members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus; and the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary, chaired by Senator Brian Taniguchi and Representative Scott Nishimoto.
Going forward, SATC plans to continue advocating strongly for an extension of the underlying civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases so that recent and future survivors will also be afforded a fair opportunity to have their day in civil court.
Thank you for your continued support of SATC.
Adriana Ramelli, Executive Director
The Sex Abuse Treatment Center