Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Mimi Walters (California-45) recently co-sponsored the Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2017¸ H.R. 1035. This bipartisan legislation would extend the statute of limitations for victims of human trafficking or sexual abuse to recover civil damages. Under current law, if a victim is a minor at the time of the violation, the statute of limitations is 21 years of age. This bill would extend the statute of limitations to 28 years of age and ensure the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim actually discovers the violation or injury that gives rise to the cause of action.
“The Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2017 will make a critical change to existing law to ensure survivors of sex crimes can seek justice by extending the statute of limitations for reporting these horrific crimes,” said Congresswoman Mimi Walters. “For far too many victims, justice remains out of their reach. This bipartisan bill will allow survivors to have the time and resources they need to pursue legal action against their perpetrators. I will continue to work with my colleagues to enact solutions, like this bill, that support victims of sex crimes and bring those responsible to justice.”
“The harsh reality is that one in four women in the United States is sexually abused as a child,” said Congressman Ted Poe, the co-founder of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, who introduced this legislation. “Unfortunately, the vast majority of sexual abuse often goes unreported. Children are often victimized before their memories form, sometimes as young as three-years-old. The primary avenue to seek justice is the ability to file civil claims against perpetrators who harm women and children. This legislation takes the necessary steps to extend the statute of limitations consistent for reporting sexual abuse and trafficking. It is time Congress stands up and advocates for children and victims.”