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Why Iowa needs to end the statute of limitations for child sex abuse

April 19, 2022 Senate Staff Blog, Issues, Post includes video, Safer communities 0

Iowa gets a failing grade when it comes to protecting children from sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Advocates say Iowa can do better by eliminating the civil statute of limitations. Legislation to do that has already been written and could be passed before the 2022 legislative session ends.

Senate File 32 would remove the civil statute of limitations for people who were abused as minors. Making this change would allow more sexual assault survivors to come forward as adults and seek justice.

Watch Kylie’s story: Iowa native Kylie DeWees – victim, advocate and law student.

According to ChildUSAdvocacy, one in five girls and one in 13 boys are sexually assaulted before they turn 18, but under current Iowa law, those victims are barred from seeking civil damages against their abuser the day they turn 19.

So far, 27 states have changed their laws to provide an opportunity for justice once a victim has matured and is able to confront their abuser, and 17 states have completely eliminated their statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

Reforming the statute of limitations can help expose hidden predators in our communities and protect more kids from becoming victims.

Iowa needs this legislation to stop abusers and punish the institutions that protect them.

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