Please click here to sign our petition to abolish the time limit on prosecuting rape in California.
[PHOTO: Cosby Survivors Lili Bernard and Victoria Valentino are both EndRapeSOL activists]
Will you join us by signing this petition compelling lawmakers in California to abolish statute of limitations (SOL) on rape and sexual assault prosecution, for the benefit of recent and future victims?
In the early 1990s, Bill Cosby mentored me as I prepared for my guest-starring role on The Cosby Show. After he had won my complete trust and adoration, he drugged me and raped me. When I told him that I would report him to the police, he threatened serious consequences to my life. In 1992, during our last contact, he said to me, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist.” I interpreted that as a death threat and feared for my life.
In the spring of 2015, empowered by dozens of brave women who publicly disclosed the abuse they suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby, I finally shed the fear and filed a police report against him in the state of New Jersey, in which an assault occurred. However, despite the evidence I saved and the witnesses willing to testify on my behalf, Cosby could not be considered for prosecution because the assault occurred a few months outside of the statute of limitations.
This was truly heart-breaking to me. I’m now fighting to help abolish the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault in the state of California where I’ve lived since the early 1990s. I’ve been organizing with a group of Los Angeles area anti-rape activists, including Cosby Survivor, Victoria Valentino, who has become like a sister to me.
What is #EndRapeSOL?
#EndRapeSOL is a grassroots campaign to end the California statute of limitations (SOL) on rape and sexual assault.
We are fighting to abolish the statute of limitations because it often takes years for rape and sexual assault survivors to report this crime due to fear, stigma, and victim blaming. Sexual violence has devastating effects on survivors. This is a serious crime and victims should be able to report whenever they feel comfortable doing so.
Many states have already abolished their statute of limitations for rape, including Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. California, the most progressive state in the Union, should already be on this list.
We support Senator Connie Leyva's "Justice for Victims Act" to overturn the statute of limitations for rape and related crimes in California.
Because justice knows no time limit.