More than 60 women have come forward with claims that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. But because of statute of limitation laws that still exist in 30 states, Cosby is only facing trial for the criminal violence he committed against a single woman.
In Pennsylvania, for example, victims over 18 have 12 years to report that they were sexually assaulted or raped. Victims under 18 who were born before August 27, 2002 have 12 years after their 18thbirthday to report. And victims under 18 born after August 27, 2002 have 32 years after their 18thbirthday to report. And every state law is totally different.
Statutes of limitations on rape and sexual assaults are a predator’s best friend and a victim’s worst nightmare. An overwhelming amount of sexual violence -- an estimated 63% -- goes unreported and a pervasive rape culture is responsible.
As we work to reduce the impact of social silencing mechanisms, we must dually eliminate laws that bar many sexual assault survivors from seeking the justice they deserve. The election to the highest office in our country of Donald J. Trump - a known sexual predator - cast a great shadow over justice for survivors of sexual assault. It is incumbent upon us all, now more than ever, to take real action to show the most vulnerable people in our that we stand with them.
In September 2016, California became the 20th state to abolish the timeline for reporting rape and sexual assault. The bill - which does not change the burden of evidence required to press charges - passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously before being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
You too can push back against the rape culture further enabled by the current White House administration and highlighted by the Cosby trial. Sign this petition to demand that the State Legislatures in these 30 states pass a law abolishing the state’s statute of limitations for sexual assault and rape.