Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

3 States, 3 Bills on Child Sex Abuse - Legislation Improving Somewhat

Maryland Governor signs bill to help
child sex abuse victims
by John Rydell

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed into law a bill which increases the age victims of child sexual abuse can file civil suits against their abusers.

Current law limits such lawsuits to age 25, but the bill signed by the governor would increase the age to age 38.

This is a big improvement and I congratulate Delegate Wilson and Governor Hogan. I would have preferred that there be no age limit at all, but 38 is certainly much better than 25.

Del. C.T. Wilson, a Democrat who represents Charles County, is calling the signing of the bill a victory for victims of child sexual abuse. 

Three years ago, Wilson disclosed to his legislative colleagues that he was a victim of child sexual abuse. Wilson says: "I want folks to know they're not alone; there are a lot of victims out there. It takes a long time to come to grips with what you're going through. I'm still going through it, and just because the abuse stops, doesn't mean the damage does."

Wilson attended Tuesday's bill signing ceremony at the Maryland State House, where he was hugged by Hogan, who said: "I want to thank Delegate C.T. Wilson for his incredible leadership on this bill."

Wilson says he will not financially benefit from the legislation but he hopes the new law will help other victims. Wilson says: "Most folks don't come to grips with what they've gone through by age 25. Sometimes it takes having children of your own to realize what you've been through and you don't want anyone else to go through it."

Amendments to Penn state sex-abuse bill could kill it
Changes would allow victims to pursue limitless damages

By Karen Langley and Maria Panaritis / Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG — In a move that could doom the measure, a key state House committee Tuesday broadened a child sex abuse bill to allow victims who sue to pursue potentially limitless damages from private and governmental institutions, including school districts.

Under the amended bill, which sparked some debate among members, government entities would lose elements of sovereign immunity, exposing them to large liability awards. It is attached to a new version of a controversial bill that died last year amid battles waged by victim advocates, the Catholic Church and the insurance lobby.

Tuesday’s vote to lift caps on the amount of money sex abuse litigants can collect in lawsuits against governmental entities was viewed by some supporters of expanding child sex abuse victims’ rights as a “poison pill.”

That is because in at least one other state, Colorado, legislation to expose government institutions to lawsuits unleashed the opposition of the school boards association, and failed. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, then archbishop in Denver, was key in defeating that effort.

Material health means nothing for a Church,
unless it sets the stage for something more important:
renewing the heart and spirit.

The issue of capping public civil payouts was not part of last year’s legislative fight in Harrisburg. That bill died over a different provision that sought to let adult victims of decades-old abuse sue private institutions. That provision is expected to be added to the House bill in the weeks ahead.

The amendment by the committee Tuesday removes much of the shield that last year’s legislation put in place for public entities.

Last year’s legislation would have allowed lawsuits only in the event of “gross negligence.” The bill amended by the House on Tuesday is a Senate bill approved earlier this year to expand the rights of victims to sue. The Senate bill reduced the threshold for suing public entities to just negligence.

That, combined with the House committee’s decision to lift liability limits, significantly exposes institutions that had more protection under last year’s bill.

“The intent of this amendment is to make a level playing field,” said Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland, who sponsored the cap amendment. “What we’re trying to do is stop this behavior of what’s going on with sexual predators.”

But Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township, said the removal of stronger sovereign immunity protections, and of the caps on damages, would be unfair to taxpayers.

“I think we should concentrate on going after the perpetrators and make them as accountable as humanly possible,” he said. “The highest offense, the most egregious act that someone could commit, is these types of things, and I think they should be held personally accountable, not the taxpayer.”

The bill, which passed the committee by a 22-5 vote, is expected to reach the House floor later this month. Victim advocates will fight for language allowing adult victims the right to sue for what happened to them decades ago.

The bill approved by the committee retained Senate language to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for future cases of child sex abuse. But it did not accept the Senate bill’s total elimination of the civil statute. The Senate bill would have placed no time limit on when future victims could sue their attackers or other individuals for child abuse they suffered.

Instead, the House committee chaired by Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, changed the bill to give future victims up to age 50 to file such lawsuits. Currently, victims have only until age 30 to do so.

A year ago, the House overwhelmingly passed a child sex-abuse bill that contained retroactive rights for people up to age 50 to sue. Its 180-15 vote came at the height of a clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

But that controversial provision was removed from the legislation in the Senate, after an intense push by advocates for the church and the insurance industry, who questioned its constitutionality and said it could unfairly punish struggling congregations.

Nebraska child sex abuse lawsuit bill wins initial approval

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would lift the statute of limitations for child abuse sex victims to sue perpetrators has won first-round approval in the Nebraska Legislature.

Lawmakers advanced the measure Wednesday with a 29-3 vote.

Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha says ending the statute of limitations is important because child sex abuse victims sometimes repress their memories or feel too ashamed to talk about what they experienced until later in life.

A statute of limitations would remain in place for people who were abused before the bill goes into effect if their claims were previously time barred. Victims would have to file lawsuits within 35 years after their 18th birthday or three years after the date when the bill goes into effect, whichever is longer.

As with the Maryland bill, this is a big improvement over the status quo, but, here, leaves victims of historical child sex abuse completely out in the cold. There needs to be a window of opportunity for all victims to sue their abusers.