It’s the first of the year, and in California a slew of new laws are going into effect.
In the past, survivors only had until they turned 28 to press charges for sexual abuse offenses in their childhood. Today the statute of limitations was raised to the victim’s age 40.
It’s a change in the law that makes total sense. It can take time to realize that what happened to you was a crime, or even that it happened.
A lot of the coping mechanisms we used to get through our childhoods–denial, self-blame, dissociation, self-medication, to name just a few–can stand in the way of acknowledging what happened to us.
Often, remembering and dealing with abuse can be disabling for a while. Healing is a slow process. This extra time gives survivors a chance to heal and get their feet under them so that they can participate in making a criminal case that will stand up in a court of law.
Hooray for California and the advocates and legislators who crafted and passed this law. Hooray for Governor Brown for signing it.
What’s happening with the statue of limitations on child sexual abuse in your state?