Child Abuse Victims Set to Get More Time for Justice in Louisiana
When it comes to crime, almost nothing makes my blood run colder than child abuse. Unfortunately, most child abuse victims never see justice. Since the vast majority of abuse against children happens in the home where conflicting priorities and misplaced responsibility convince most kids caught in this terrible and unjust situations to just keep their mouths shut. Can you imagine thinking if you speak up the entire family will be torn apart?
To make this situation worse, victims of this horrible crime sometimes take years before they can tell anyone about it. Unfortunately, that fact alone has allowed countless criminals to utterly destroy childhoods and walk away unpunished. In fact, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's (RAINN) statistics claim that only 5 in every 1,000 abusers ever see jail time.
Since it would be detrimental to the fragile emotional and metal state of an abused child to demand they speak up sooner, there really is only one solution. Luckily, every single member of the Louisiana House of Representatives is thinking the same thing.
According to KATC, victims of child abuse could soon have an open avenue to pursue justice - even if it was a long time ago. Currently, Louisiana's statute of limitations (the period of time in which a crime can be prosecuted) on child abuse cases is 10 years. Louisiana State Representative Jason Hughes from New Orleans introduced a bill that would make that time period 35 years - and, thankfully, not a single lawmaker in the room disagreed.
The bill will now make its way to the senate, where it will likely be given the same reception. Since the statute of limitations starts on the victims 18th birthday (the moment they are recognized as a legal adult in Louisiana), that would extend the maximum age a victim can report the crime from 28 to 53-years old. The significance of the newly proposed limit is this: On average, a victim of child abuse doesn't disclose the fact that they were abused until the age of 52.
As a child abuse survivor, I hope that this opens the floodgates on prosecutions and prison sentences for those who choose to hurt our most precious resources - our children. I also hope that this, in turn, normalizes speaking up at an earlier age so that we may come closer to ending this terrible plague on our states families.