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For Immediate Release

October 4, 2018

Matthew Nocella, 202.724.8105
Judiciary Committee advances legislation to help sexual abuse survivors heal
Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from Councilmember David Grosso (I-At
Large), member of the Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety, on the committee’s approval
of the Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Amendment Act of 2018 which incorporates pieces
of the Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act, a measure Grosso
introduced in 2015 and 2017:
“For over a decade, the Council has considered some form of legislation meant to help
childhood survivors of sexual abuse heal from the trauma of their experience. Today, we finally
advanced legislation that will allow those survivors to seek justice and recompense and further
hold the individuals who perpetrate these atrocities accountable.
“I originally introduced the Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act
because I believe there are few actions more depraved than sexual violence against children.
The experience of sexual violence as a child is one that endures for ages. Most survivors do not
come forward until well into adulthood, suffering for years with depression, feelings of guilt
and sometimes difficulty forming intimate relationships.
“I applaud the expansion in the legislation we have approved today which allows an individual
to file a civil suit to recover damages for any sexual abuse – not just acts of sexual abuse that
occurred while the victim was a minor.
“The recent spate of high-profile cases involving allegations of and convictions for sexual abuse
underscore the pervasiveness of sexual assault in America. The prevalence of these incidences,
across every sector, from the Catholic Church to as far reaching as the Office of the President
of the United States, defies the word "problem." This is an epidemic, and what we've come to
realize is that American culture has and continues to reinforce the normalization of sexual
violence. Far too often, survivors of sexual violence are let down by the justice system.
“While this bill is not a panacea, it will go a long way to encourage and empower victims to
come forward and know that a fair and just system is in place to help them right wrongs and
begin to heal.
“As policymakers, we have to ensure that every available option is afforded to those who have
been harmed and this legislation will allow the many courageous survivors across the city to
seek justice under the law. I want to thank Chairperson Charles Allen and his staff for the time
and effort that has been dedicated to advancing this measure to mark-up. I urge my colleagues
to support this legislation when it comes before the full Council.”