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Maryland’s Child Victims Act takes effect: What to expect in the days ahead

Maryland The Daily Record (October 1st, 2023)

Maryland’s Child Victims Act is set to take effect, ushering in significant changes to the state’s legal landscape concerning child sexual abuse cases. The act will expand the statute of limitations for survivors, providing them more time to pursue legal action against their abusers. It also creates a two-year window for previously time-barred claims to be filed. This means survivors unable to seek justice due to expired statutes of limitations will have the opportunity to come forward. Additionally, the act allows for punitive damages in cases involving institutions that failed to protect children from abuse, sending a strong message about accountability. The Child Victims Act represents a critical step toward supporting survivors and holding perpetrators and institutions accountable for their actions. If you’re a survivor or someone seeking justice for these heinous crimes, this legal change could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Elizabeth Newman, public policy director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, noted that the Maryland Child Victims Act offers many survivors a newfound sense of hope, mainly if their abuse occurred many years ago. She emphasized that Senate Bill 88 presented a significant opportunity for survivors to share their stories and be heard, providing a sense of validation and healing. The act’s potential overturn is, in Newman’s words, ‘devastating and heartbreaking.’ Still, given its bipartisan support in the Colorado General Assembly, she anticipates that any new legislation or amendments will likely garner backing once more.

Read the full article here.