Senator Larry Farnese

Philadelphia – September 18, 2019 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D- Philadelphia) said today that the deadline for submitting testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee for their Oct. 2nd hearing regarding statute of limitations reform for those who have experienced sexual violence is Sept. 20, 2019.

All submitted testimony will go through the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, who will present a consolidated testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those submitting testimony to the Office of Victim Advocate are free to remain anonymous if they so choose.

“Statute of limitations reform in Pennsylvania has the potential to allow victims the type of justice that they have been denied because they were so young when their trauma and abuse occurred,” Farnese said. “This hearing is an opportunity to hear from those who this reform will most effect: the victims.”

Statute of limitations (SOL) set the maximum time after an event for an individual to bring forth legal proceedings against someone else.

Currently, there are three bills in the Pennsylvania legislature that will reform the state’s current SOL laws:

  • House Bill 962 (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi, D – Berks) extends the civil statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse to age 55. It also removes the sovereign and government immunity going forward, but for child victims only.
  • House Bill 963 (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Gregory, R – Blair) calls for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution that opens a two-year window for child victims previously barred from pressing charges against their accusers to do so.
  • Senate Bill 540 (Sponsored by Sen. Tim Kearney, D – Chester/Delaware) fully abolishes both the civil and criminal statute of limitations for all child and adult victims of sexual abuse, and creates a two-year retroactive window, allowing all those previously barred from bringing charges against their abusers to do so. ​ ​

“It is not easy to tell the stories of abuse, and I want to sincerely thank all the victims who contributing testimony to this hearing so that we can finally gain insight into these desperately needed reforms,” Farnese said.

This wishing to submit testimony by name or anonymously can do so through the Office of Victim Advocate’s website.