Denver, CO – SB21-073, sponsored by Senators Danielson (D) and Coram (R), and championed by the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA); will eliminate the civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse, give more survivors access to our civil legal system, and protect children.
Eliminate the Civil Statute of Limitations
Currently, an adult survivor in the state of Colorado only has six years after the date of the abuse to file a civil claim against their perpetrator and only two years to file against an institution that covered up the abuse; a child sexual abuse survivor has six years, after the age of 18, to file a civil claim against their perpetrator. But healing from trauma has no timeline; many survivors are simply not ready to enter a legal battle at age 24 or a mere six years after their traumatic event occurred.
Survivors deserve access to the civil legal system when it is the right time for their healing. This is why the Colorado Senate needs to pass SB21-073 and eliminate the civil statute of limitations, thus placing survivors in control of their own journeys.
Give More Survivors Access to the Civil Legal System
SB21-073 will also give more survivors access to the civil legal system by expanding the behaviors for which a perpetrator can be held civilly liable. With this bill, survivors of all sexual misconduct (including sex trafficking, unwanted sexual contact, grooming behaviors) will have access to the civil legal system, not just those who’ve experienced sexual assault as defined under Colorado criminal law.
Currently, parents who wish to make a civil claim on behalf of their child must make a hard choice: force their child into litigation after experiencing a traumatic event, or forego the single system designed to provide monetary resources to help cover the costs of things like counseling, medical care, and other expenses resulting from sexual violence. SB21-073 will fix this derivative claim issue and protect Colorado’s child survivors from being submitted to litigation.
What the Colorado Senate Can Do
By supporting the civil statute of limitations reforms in SB21-073, senators will be affirming their support for sexual abuse survivors and their dedication to protecting Colorado’s children.
CCASA was founded in 1984 to be the collective voice of rape crisis advocates across the state of Colorado. Today, our membership includes over 100 sexual assault survivors, victim advocates, rape crisis centers, dual domestic violence and sexual assault programs, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, public health agencies, college and university campuses, medical professionals, offender treatment programs, public officials, as well as other organizations and concerned individuals throughout Colorado.